ARMED DIPLOMACY IN ACTION

With the advent in power politics of novice vain timorous politicians a la Obama driven by ideology and not realpolitik world order has been put at immense risk as diplomacy in our times is no longer the handmaid of a Talleyrand

Writing Saved Marxist Philosopher's Life

WRITING SAVED ZIZEK'S LIFE

 

'Writing saved my life. Years ago, because of some private love troubles, I was in a suicidal mood for a couple of weeks. I told myself: “I could kill myself, but I have a text to finish. First I will finish it, then I will kill myself.” Then there was another text, and so on.'

 

Reply by Kotzabasis

 

No wonder that "texting" saves you from your "suicidal mood" emanating from your perpetual troubling love for Lenin. No "texting" however, will save you from a revolution that eats its own children. It would be wiser, therefore, Zizek, to commit suicide, rather than being eaten, like Thyestes's children.   

ECONOMIC CRISIS IN GREECE CONTINUOUS AS RESULT OF INCOMPETENT RADICAL LEFTIST GOVERNMENT

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Simply put, the crisis is a result of past government over-spending on borrowed funds paid with exorbitant interest rates. A situation that could not be prolonged and would inevitably implode and cascade the country into bankruptcy. Greece therefore had to ask help from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to save itself from absolute poverty.   Thus came into existence the Memoranda, formulated by the EU and the IMF, prescribing how the country could get out of its dire economic straits.

It is a great fallacy to believe that the Memoranda are the cause of the continuation of the crisis. Certainly mistakes were made by the IMF and the EU, but they were not of such proportions as to sink the country deeper into the morass of the crisis. The main cause of its durability, was the refusal of both the governments of George Papandreou and of Tsipras, with the exception of the Samaras Government, to implement quickly and decisively the reforms and economic restructuring that would put the country on the track of economic recovery.

The Greek electorate doltishly committed a gross error in electing SYRIZA, and choosing the quack economic policies of Yanis Varoufakis and the chicanery of his negotiations with the Europeans, that cost the country 100 billion euros. The people in searching for a scapegoat for Greece’s ills, i.e., the architects of the Memoranda, brought onto the government benches a nightmare of incompetence and bungling to manage the affairs of State. As the Tsipras radical leftist government is a synthesis of imbecility, mediocrity, and charlatanism, enshrouded in Marxist dogma. It is totally unfit to pull the country out of the crisis. On the contrary, by staying in power it will continue the dire economic crisis as a result of its total incompetence. Only New Democracy, a Mitsotakis Government, could succeed in ending the crisis, as the Samaras Government began to do so at the end of 2014.      

Neo-Marxist Philosopher Zizek is the Grand Wizard of Ku Klux Klan

By Con George-Kotzabasis  November 23, 2017

I’m hunting you Zizek, not to shoot you but to impound you, to pen you in a zoo, as the last extinct exotic species of neo-Marxism's bankruptcy, for display, to your admirers, the nipple-fed intellectuals, whom Lenin dubbed “useful idiots”, to be used, and I would add, in a Leninist useless philosophy. You are the Lehman Brothers of Philosophy. Easy come, easy go.

Unlike Einstein’s God who doesn’t play dice, you on the contrary, play dice with your Marxist philosophy. On one throw of the dice you stake millions of lives on your aleatory experiment of creating the perfect Communist society. To quote you from your book …Lost Causes, “Better a disaster of fidelity to the Event than a non-being of indifference towards the Event”. Thus the logic of this sentence is that either fidelity or indifference to the Event has an equal chance of being realised. Moreover, the indifferent would be truly in a state of “non-being”, as they would be ‘pogrommed’, eliminated by the faithful. Marxism is a tragic replay of the Spanish Inquisition. And you are its modern Grand Inquisitor. Indeed, Zizek, you are the “imperial wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan. (Not to speak of your colossal revisionism of Marxism; that the establishment of the Communist society is within the DNA of history and inevitable, the outcome of a natural law—nothing serendipitous about its materialisation-- as depicted by its great founder.)

Thus on your transcendental chiliastic disastrous faith toward the Marxist Eden, the die is cast.  

Zizek, enjoy the rest of the day and don’t misuse it, as life is too short. 

`

 

Terrorist Barbarians Inside the Gates of Civilization

I'm republishing this essay that was written few years ago in view of the harder stand that the Turnbull Government in Australia is taking with its terror laws, and rightly ranking security higher, in its confrontation with an implacable and multi-faceted deadly enemy, than civil liberties.

 

 

By Con George-Kotzabasis


A deadly Trojan horse has been placed in the midst of the metropolises of Western civilization and, like Troy, is threatening its destruction. Throughout Europe, North America, and Australia, the belly of this deadly Horse is already bursting open delivering and unleashing a horde of fanatic barbarians on the cities of the civilized world, whose holy agenda decrees the wiping -out of Western institutions and their open, tolerant and free societies, and the genocide of their peoples by the fire of Allah's hell. 

 

This is the nightmare scenario that countries of the economically developed and free world are facing as a result of their humanitarian and generous, but replete with folly, immigration policies that allowed such vast numbers of mostly unassimilable Muslim immigrants with 'exponential' birth rates, to become permanent residents and citizens of their countries. (In the Netherlands almost one third of children under the age of thirteen are Muslim. No wonder that the great Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis argues, that "Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century".) As inexorably, not an insubstantial number of these Muslims of the diaspora will become terrorist - fodder for the likes of bin Laden, as Mohammed Atta, the Western educated ringleader, as well as so many other terrorists who have been also been educated in Western universities, of the murderous group of 9/11 has shown, whose terrorist cell was hatched in Hamburg Germany. This is especially so for many young unemployed Muslims in the West, who have been brought up within the strict confines of their rigid religion and who are therefore psychologically more susceptible to the calls of their fundamentalist imams for a Jihad against the infidels, making them therefore prone to become martyrs in this holy war against them. Hence the terrorist barbarians are not at the gates of civilization but inside its gates

 

September 11 was a wake up call to all governments of the democratic world to the mortal threat that Muslim fundamentalists posed to their peoples. However, despite the exploding sound of this call, only a few governments are willing to recognize this great danger -whose gathering dark clouds teeming with lightning bolts are hovering over the cities of the world threatening their peoples with total annihilation -and stand-up against it. Apparently, only a handful of them have the intellectual capacity, imagination, and historical insight to perceive this great danger, and the resolve and moral mettle to take the necessary relentless measures and actions to prevent this catastrophe of biblical proportions from happening. America, Britain, Australia, Italy, Poland and the thirty other countries who have deployed their armed forces to fight global terror in Iraq under their politically and morally strong and historically savvy leaderships, will be acknowledged and renowned by history as the countries that saved Western civilization from this lethal attack by this horde of fanatically necrophilous barbarians. The no quarter given, relentless retaliation of these governments to this existential challenge of global terrorism to the civilized peoples of the world, will be totally justified by future historians, as has been the stand of those nations who fought against Nazi and Communist totalitarianism and who made the necessary and stupendous sacrifices to save the world from these two regimes of evil in the Twentieth century.

 

DESPITE US ERRORS AN WITHDRAWAL IS UNTENABLE

 

Even if one concedes that serious mistakes have been made by the Americans post March 2003 after the defeat of Saddam, which was part and parcel of the war against global terror, such as indiscriminately disbanding all Iraqi military units, and not dealing with the incipient insurgency of urban terrorists last April by using overwhelming force against it and nipping it in the bud, instead of ceasing their military offensive, as they did in Fallujah, and passing the control of that city to a former Iraqi general, who proved to be completely inept in disarming the insurgents. The strategic goal of the military planners against the insurgency, should have been the prompt and devastating defeat of the insurgents in this city, either by their mass capture or mass annihilation, which would serve as a deadly example to all other insurgents in other hot-bed provinces in Iraq, with the high probability that this would have led to their complete demoralization and surrender, as I had suggested in a previous paper of mine last April, which was sent to the U.S. Embassy in Canberra. (It seems now that the Pentagon is using exactly this strategy, as the capture of Samarra by American and Iraqi forces and the elimination of the insurgents, has shown.) 

 

As the outcome of this erratic implementation of the Pentagon's military plan, by starting an offensive against the insurgents and then stopping it halfway before achieving its goals, Iraq has now become "the crucible of global terror", to quote Tony Blair. This is the glaring fact that all governments who have committed themselves to fight global terror are presently confronting. To turn tail and run now from Iraq would not be merely foolish, it would be the greatest military error against the war on terror, as it would deliver a tremendous victory to the terrorists on a global scale. It would reinforce in the minds of the terrorists, as the withdrawal of US forces from Beirut and Mogadishu had done, as a result of the casualties Americans had suffered in these two cities, by presidents Reagan and Clinton respectively, that America and other Western nations lack the resolve to stand-up to them and fight, and will induce them to be even more lethally aggressive against the 'cowardly' West. Hence the critics and opponents of the war, who blame the Bush administration for exacerbating terrorism in Iraq and call for the US withdrawal from Iraq, are purblind and cannot see that such action would be the greatest error that one could commit against the war on global terror. It would surpass by a great order of magnitude all the mistakes that the Pentagon committed in Iraq. 

 

If indeed the opponents of the war are right, that the US incursion of the country and the overthrow of Saddam has strengthened and intensified terror in Iraq, then the reasonable course for nations who believe that there is no other alternative but to fight and defeat this global menace, would be for these nations to deploy their armed forces in Iraq and inflict a deadly blow on global terrorism, by defeating the insurgents decisively. Or if they are unwilling to spill the blood of their own soldiers, they should at the least support morally and politically the soldiers of the nations, i.e., the American - led coalition, who are brave enough to sacrifice their own lives in the cause of global security and freedom. This would be the wise course to follow, to correct the mistakes of the Americans, instead of aggravating and compounding these mistakes, by running away from Iraq, and in spite of these errors (in all wars errors are made ), to unflinchingly support America in this historic and deadly confrontation with these medieval barbarians, whom only America's military might can defeat comprehensively, among all other nations in the world. 

 

 

 

THE ENEMY WITHIN 

 

But the war against global terror and Muslim fanaticism will not be won, unless the governments who have pledged themselves to fight global terror also deal with and tackle the cunning and deceitful enemy that lies within their borders. To carry out this far from easy task, these governments have to realize that they can no longer be tolerant, on the basis of laws of non-discrimination on religious grounds, to the breeding grounds of terrorism that entangle, ivy-like, the edifices of Western cities, i.e., the mosques and Islamic schools, of whom a minority of, but highly influential, imams and teachers, preach hate against the mores of Western civilization and of their peoples, inciting young Muslims to enlist in a holy war against the Great Satan, America, and on all other nations that embody the cosmopolitan values of Judeo-Greco-Roman civilization.

 

The cardinal question therefore is, how to sterilize and make barren the breeding grounds of terrorism that are ensconced in the cities of the West whose deadly offspring are the enemy within. Since the idea of repatriation and resettlement by means of a monetary incentive for millions of Muslims, who have now made their home in Western countries, is no longer feasible - fathered by that prophet of British politics Enoch Powell, who in his Birmingham "Rivers of Blood" speech on April 20 1968, clearly and ominously predicted the deadly conflicts that would arise between Britons and British citizens of colonial background who had settled in England, and who with prescience had opposed the so called humanitarian immigration policies of both Labor and Conservative governments - one has to consider other lines of action. One of them would be the immediate cessation of funding these mosques and schools by governments, unless the former adopt in their curricula a primary undiluted course of 'no leaks' assimilation for their students to the mainstream culture of the nation that they have chosen freely to live in, and put an end to all 'traffickers' of the disastrous policy of multiculturalism, which with mathematical precision divides a nation. 

 

Another one would be the swift passing of special, indeed emergency, legislation that would make it easier for the police and for the relevant government officials to jail or deport, radical imams and teachers who propagate, either openly or cunningly and insidiously, a holy war against the West. 

 

Furthermore, to attenuate and diminish the high birth rate of Muslim families, governments should introduce a policy of negative incentives, which could stop this high birth rate such as paying to all families of the nation, children’s allowances up to the number of four children. Any children born beyond that number would not be entitled to any allowances. Nor would any allowances be paid to children born from a second marriage, whose fathers or mothers already have four children from their previous marriages. This measure would bring the birth rate as close as it is possible to the common standard of Western societies and to the ethos and aspirations of motivated modern nuclear families. It would also stop the 'racketeering' of phony separations and single motherhoods, whose deliberate purpose is to abuse and defraud the system of family payments, and whose side - effect is, the perennial continuation of voluntary unemployment among this group of men and women. 

 

Undoubtedly, these harsh measures will raise a hurricane of protests from Muslim organizations of the diaspora and from Muslim states. This will be followed by a chorus of international lawyers and of the liberal intelligentzia from the well-heeled countries of the West, who will denounce these measures as brutal and heartless to poor families, viciously racist, and chauvinistic, striking a terrible blow to democracy and opening the way to an authoritarian state and even worse. But this soft potpourri of legal and intelligence gnomes are unwilling to recognize, and it might be beyond their depth, that the grossly mistaken immigration policies of the nations of the West are now coming to haunt them with their destruction. And the only way to prevent this destruction is for the governments of these nations to take tragically severe measures to correct this gross mistake of past governments that now threatens their peoples with extinction, either by weapons of mass destruction or by the upshot of demographics. 

 

DEFEAT OF TERROR LIES IN ITS LACK OF SUCCESS

 

One must recognize that the terrorists are technically educated barbarians, with PC's in one hand and with the distorted fragments of the Koran in the other - who consider it to be the only fountain of knowledge - lacking the open- mind of a universal education; unread in the great writings and literature of all peoples and of all ages; mentally untouched by their rich Arab culture, literature and philosophy; unread in the great philosophical writings of Al-Farabi, who placed rationality above the revealed truth of the Sharia nor in the equally brilliant writings of Ibn-Sina (Avicenna ) and of Ibn-Rushid (Averroes ), who both placed human reason above religion, and of Omar Khayyam, who never believed in Providence or in any other World but this one, valuing the sensual pleasures of this world as the fill to the brim of life. Being ignorant of the existence of this great Arab intellectual treasure, that was an essential element of the cornerstone of Western civilization and of the Italian Renaissance, their minds locked in the fanaticism of fundamentalist Islam and its death-cult, they have no respect for any other peoples' religions except their own. Instead they zealously believe that the followers of all other religions are destined to go to hell and only Muslims will enter the gates of infinite paradise, especially if they are anointed by martyrdom. It is of such stuff that these implacable enemies of Western civilization are made. 

 

Confronting such suicidal fanatics, who fervently believe that the West and its Great Satan, America, are responsible and culpable for all the ills that have befallen upon Muslim countries; determined to destroy this source of evil by chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, as soon as they are in their possession, the political leaders of the West, and especially of America, are deprived of any soft options and are forced to take on the hard option of the "unsheathed sword". 

 

The art of diplomacy, the laudable deliberations of the United Nations for peace making, which could be effective when one deals with a rational foe, are totally ineffective when one confronts an irrational enemy, whose only 'rational' communication, in his hearing, is with God. That is why the academics who teach their students the 'management' of terrorism by a diplomatic demarche as the only rational way to counter and thwart it, rather than war, which is so costly in human and economic terms and without making certain its defeat, are not only starry-eyed, but also debar themselves from the disciplines of politics and of war strategy. Management presupposes and involves rational processes, which to the terrorists is terra incognita, and therefore with algorithmic precision is bound to fail.

 

But wherein lies the answer to this conundrum of how to defeat global terror and its state sponsors? History's edict provides the clear and indefeasible answer to this intricate issue. When a nation fights a swarm of religious fanatics, depriving these fanatics of the ability to launch successful operations against their enemies is the most effective way to defeat them, as the terrorists, being no longer successful in their attacks against the West and in their attacks against the American-led coalition in Iraq, will find the "mouse of doubt" implanted in their hearts (a doubt whose epiphany will reveal to them, that after all they might not be in God's favor) gnawing, slowly but surely, at their belief that they are the instruments of Allah. This, in itself, will compel them to abandon their cause.

 

This is why the successful outcome of the war in Iraq for the U.S. - led coalition and the introduction of democracy to its ravaged people, is of such vital importance. The decisive defeat of the terrorist insurgents will unfold a dawn of a bright future for the people of Iraq, and also commence the beginning of the quick end of global terror.


I rest on my oars:Your turn now.

 

This paper was written on

October 9, 2004

 

MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA

Marxism is the Opium of the Intelligentsia

By Con George-Kotzabasis--July 22. 2017

The following is my contribution to a lecture given by Professor Vrasidas Karalis in the Greek Community Centre, in Melbourne, two years ago.

Bravura performance professor Vrasidas! Papaioannou’s head would lift from the grave in approval with a big smile on his face, unlike the skulls of Communism, which according to the ex-Marxist Polish philosopher, Leszek Kolakowski, will never smile again. Papaioannou was a bright star amidst a constellation of co-stars, like Raymond Aron, Ernst Nolte, Ayn Rand, and Hannah Arendt, not to mention others, who had foreseen, identified, and exposed the murderous traits of Communism. However, the cocottes of the ideology of Marxism were able to allure with their bawdy charms and false historical promises nipple-fed intellectuals, whom Lenin had dubbed “useful idiots,” into the ranks of the Communist mirage. Intoxicated by the brilliant form of Marx’s writings they were blind to its toxic content.

The dragon’s teeth spawned by Marx on the cerebral landscape would give rise to the monstrous leadership of Stalin, Mao, and the Althusserian trained ideologues of Cambodia, who would try to build their utopia on Gulag Archipelagos and killing fields. And when Communism would be achieved on these brutal homicidal grounds, then human concerns would take over: man fishing in the morning, playing the flute in the evening and writing romantic poetry in the night. Thus, the Marxian birth of the “all-sided man,” of the “politropos Anthropos!”

Marxism is not merely tragic drama, it is worse: it is kitsch, a pretentious worthless play staged on history. And the wrathful hallucinations and platitudes of Marx became murderous instruments in the hands of the epigones of Marxism.

Presently, a repeat of Marxist omniscience is to be re-enacted in Greece. The Tsipras Government, a politically arriviste, incompetent bungling blend of a withering crop of epigonistic Marxists, pseudo intellectuals, and populist sycophants, are pushing Greece into the abyss of their own “killing fields”. Failure in negotiations with the Troika will lead to the debt default of Greece and return to the drachma, with annihilating consequences to the standard of living of the ordinary people and to a political danger by the rise of dictatorship. Marxism is the opium of the intelligentsia.

\\

 

Is Tsipras and Close Associates Plan to Set-up Marxist Dictatorship in Greece

By Con George-Kotzabasis July 18, 2017

The beginning is the sign”. David Hilbert, German mathematician

In the doom and gloom of the political and economic landscape of Greece, a spectre haunts the country, the spectre of Marxist dictatorship. There are ominous signs that Prime Minister Tsipras and some of his closest associates are working on a sinister secret plan that would prolong their staying in power beyond the date of the expiration of their tenure. There are several signs (they will be identified and explained below) and all of them are showing clearly, like lighted roads that lead and meet at a central junction, that this central square is named dictatorship.

All the latest polls are indicating that the Tsipras government will get a merciless thrashing at the next election, to be held in 2019, at the hands of the electorate, as back payment for the historically unprecedented deceptive promises and prodigious lies that Syriza had told the people, for the purpose of winning the 2015 election. These lies include but they are not limited to the severe cuts in pensions and increase of taxes that Tsipras has introduced, breaking all his promises to the contrary, and imposed relentlessly and with no compunction, even upon the most indigent parts of society. Tsipras, therefore, and his bosom comrades are realising with great panic that their proud slogan of “First Time Aristera” (Left Government) will be transformed into the terrifyingly shameful “Never Again Aristera.” To prevent this from happening, they will not hesitate to extract the most nefarious means from the arsenal of Bolshevism in order to remain in power. And as the game is up for them, politically and electorally, they have nothing to lose by taking these extreme measures, since they are fated to be consigned into the graveyard of history.

Yet this coup d’état of Tsipras will not occur under the rattling of the tanks but under the scratching of the pens. By making changes to the political processes of the country, apparently by abiding with the Constitution, that would open the road toward dictatorship. (Not that he has any moral scruples in using the tanks--after all his ideological kin the Soviet Union, used them in Czechoslovakia--but only because he has no direct control over the armed forces.) However, before he comes to the real McCoy, i.e., the setting-up of a Marxist dictatorship, he will initially postpone or suspend the next election. And to do this he will use a proschema (pretext), a contrived national threat or a real one, such as provoking a military incident with Turkey. Hence by creating a casus belli he will render to himself extraordinary powers, enabling him to suspend normal constitutional processes and govern the country by plebiscite.

What methods will Tsipras use to achieve his goal? Whether he will fabricate a fictitious internal enemy such as an association of so-called right-wing politicians of New Democracy, and even throw mud at its president, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, by implying its association with big corrupt business and bigwig criminals involved in the importation of vast quantities of heroin, or whether he will create a real enemy by provoking a military clash with Turkey, Tsipras will use the rationale, by which he will attempt to convince the people, that in order to fight either of these enemies successfully he must be given the right to make the necessary amendments to the Constitution and hence will call the people to agree to them through a plebiscite. It is hard to imagine, that in conditions of great dangers to the country, in the first case, the importation of heroin, with its deleterious effects upon the wellbeing of Greece’s children, by a so called evil combination of politicians, businessmen, and criminals, or a takeover of the country by a rapacious cabal of right-wing politicians and big commerce and industry, which will profit at the expense of the ordinary people, or the threat of war with Turkey, that it will be difficult for the people to be convinced of either of these dangers and will therefore render to Tsipras the right to make the appropriate changes to the Constitution. Furthermore, the crescendo of violent demonstrations by anarchist extremists of the left, in which the minister of public order deliberately refuses to take a strong stand against this disorder, as todays incidents in the heart of the retail trade centre of Athens shows, whose shops were broken and vandalized, may also be a part of the conspirators’plan that will facilitate them to declare emergency measures or even martial law.

Tsipras therefore is confident that there will be no mass reaction to his moves, and rests this trust on the passivity of the people as well as on the passivity and indifference of the armed forces, which, since the experience of the Junta, stand at arms-length from politics. What other forces therefore could oust Tsipras from power, when all the key posts of government will be held by people of his own ilk?

However, it will not be easy for Tsipras to convince the guardians of the Constitution, the Judiciary, of the necessity or correctness of these changes to the political processes of the country. This is the reason why from the beginning of this year there has been a concerted and vicious attack against the Judiciary by some ministers of the government, and even by the Prime Minister himself, who has stated in public, that the Judiciary is a “hindrance” to some of the policies of his government. And the primo uomo of this attack is the Minister of Health, Polakis, whose cursing cacophonous mantinades (Cretan couplets) against the Judiciary, may sound noetically jarring and stupid but they hide behind them a clever purpose, i.e., to degrade, erode, and weaken its authority. Also, the involvement of the Minister of Defence, Kammenos, in the investigative operations of the police in regards to this huge quantity of heroin that was smuggled into the country by criminals, which is a blunt violation of the separation of powers, i.e., of the Executive, the Judiciary, and the Legislative, has also the same aim, that is, to debilitate the Judiciary and its personnel. All the above are lucid signs of the Tsipras government plot to disparage the judiciary and wear down its authority. The Tsipras government perceives, that the main obstacle to turn itself into a proletarian dictatorship, is a robust and independent Judiciary, that espouses the separation of powers and checks that the actions of government are in tangent with the rules of the Constitution. The conspirators, however, will attempt to make ‘tailor-made’ interpretations of the Constitution to suit their actions which will creepily lead to their dictatorship.

But the most significant revealing sign is the appointment by Tsipras, of the former Chief Justice of the High Court, Vasiliki Thanou, as head of his Legal Office. Mrs. Thanou, is known for her skills as a lawyer as well as for her political credentials of being a left-wing supporter of long standing. She served, with the support of SYRIZA, as interim prime minister prior to the election of Lukas Papadimou in Government. It is obvious that Thanou, will be advising Tsipras on changes in the legal and political processes of the country and on possible changes to the Constitution that would facilitate him to consummate his secret plan. Indeed, she will be knitting, with her skilful fingers, the regal toga that Tsipras will be wearing as dictator of the proletariat. Since her appointment, she launched a vehement attack against New Democracy for its audacity to criticise her appointment.

The question arises with no easy answers. How can one kill the plan of Tsipras at the initial stages of its incubation? But there is an answer, and it comes from an unusual quarter, by which the Tsipras plan will be dead in its first breath: Ancient Greece comes to the rescue of modern Greece, Iphigenia in Aulis: Since it is impossible presently for the Opposition to force an election, the only way that would impel an election is by the resignation of Prokopis Pavlopoulos from the presidency. The reasons for his resignation would be plausible and cogent, that is, that he is unwilling and it is repugnant for him to preside under the fiendish machinations of the Tsipras government to undermine the Constitution, and its attacks against the Judiciary, that would lead to the subversion of democracy. Hence, Pavlopoulos will be summoned to be the modern Iphigenia whose sacrifice would release the storming winds that will sweep Tsipras and his comrades from The Maximou House (The White House of Greece). In this solution time is a crucial factor, and those persons who are close to Pavlopoulos will have to move swiftly and persuade him to accept this summons and go to the Euripidean Aulis, to his rendezvous with destiny. The question is: Will Prokopis Pavlopoulos have the spiritual and moral fortitude and intellectual insight and strength to sacrifice himself for the sake of Greece?

PS There might be within SYRIZA some righteous people. But if they do not oppose this insidious plan of Tsipras, they will suffer the Aeschylian fate. “A righteous man by himself is formidable. But a righteous man conjoined with the wicked perishes with them.”       

 

 

Union Power: The Wings of an Eagle Attached to a Pigeonhead

I’ve “excavated” this essay of mine from the deep-end of my archive in view of the Construction Forestry Mines Energy Union’s, CFMEU, threatening decision to publish the names and addresses of building watchdog inspectors with the aim that their “kids will be ashamed of who their parents are.” This union as king-maker, whose power is unparalleled in the industrial history of the country, which can crown and dethrone leaders of the Labor Party, as it did by appointing Bill Shorten as the federal leader of the ALP, has not the slightest concern that by naming the families of these inspectors puts at high risk the safety of their spouses and children. Moreover, its impending amalgamation with another militant union, the Marine Union of Australia, MEU, will make the CFMEU the power-broker extraordinaire. And increase more its forte to continue to break the rules and regulations of the Industrial Court with total impunity. I hope the readers of this blog will find it to be of a bit of an interest.

 

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following essay was written on April 2000. It’s republished here on this blog as I think it’s still relevant as unions continue to have a strong grip on the Labor Party. And with a possible impending recession in the US that would inevitably effect the Australian economy, a Rudd victory in the coming election will bring the unions exercising their pernicious behind the times influence on the front benches of a Labor government. And hence exacerbate the peril of the economy of the country in conditions of recession. Lest we forget, it was in the UK in the mid-sixties under Labor governments that ‘trade-union-led “wage push” was the driving force behind inflation and subsequent breakdown of Keynesian policy’. Richard Kahn, one of the closest disciples of Keynes, when he was asked about this breakdown of Keynesian policy, he answered, ‘we never thought the leaders of the trade unions could behave so stupidly’. This stupidity was coined at the time in the term of stagflation, the proud creation of the unions. And this doltishness of the unions is alive and well in our times as it’s still fueled by the false Marxist doctrine of class struggle. This is the danger that trade unions could inflict to the Australian economy under a Rudd government. As for Rudd’s “education revolution” by providing students with laptops, the mountain has brought forth a mouse. Australia is already among the top nations that provides computers to its students. But on the quintessence of education revolution which has to deal with its human capital, i.e., its teachers, who have to be selected on merit and ability and on their teaching methods, two burning issues on which the education unions will not budge, Rudd remains silent. He also claims that his government will be a government of “fresh ideas and new leadership”. But after his lustful embrace of me tooism of some major liberal policies during the electoral campaign, Rudd pellucidly reveals that his government will not be a government of “new leadership” but a government of mimicry. 

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The ascendancy of the Labor Party to the treasury benches in Victoria, has churned in its wake a billow of waves of industrial action by an amalgam of union power that threatens to shipwreck the economic vibrancy of the state. The outcome of such fatuous action by the unions will be to induce a flight of investment capital from Victoria to other states, as current and would-be employers of this state would feel too insecure to invest in an environment of industrial turmoil. This is especially so when the Labor government and its leader Steve Bracks are perceived to be irresolute and too weak-kneed to control and rein in this outdated aggression and belligerence of the unions against employers.

The excessive and irrational demands of the unions for a thirty-six hour working week and a 24 percent increase in wages, which if they were successful in obtaining initially in the construction industry and their inevitable flow into some other industries, would have the ineluctable result of throwing thousands of workers among the ranks of the unemployed. This would be a tragic repetition of what happened in the metal industry in the late 80s as a result of excessive union claims, under the then Federal Secretary of the Metal Trades Union, George Campbell—a political stallion of the Left and presently a Labor Senator who is going to be replaced by another stalwart left-winger Doug Cameron who has indisputable credentials of being in the past a real “communist under the bed”—whom the Treasurer Paul Keating accused of having a necklace of 100,000 dismissed metal workers around his neck.

It’s obvious that the unions are afflicted by an innate inability to learn from their past sloppy errors. And like a recurring malady they are bound to contaminate the economy of the country with the calamitous mistakes of the past. The consequences of a repeated mistake, however, are more tragic than the consequences of an initial one and therefore carry a greater responsibility. An action that is performed for the first time is experimental in regard to its consequences, as no one, without the gifts of Tiresias, can predict or foresee whether its results will be benign or malign.  (Not that the unions could be excused for their first error. There was ample evidence of a global scale at the time, and enough forewarnings by eminent economists, that excessive union claims within the confines of global competition would inexorably lead to the flight of capital from regions these claims were impacting upon, and hence to unemployment.) But an action that is repeated deliberately and wantonly in spite of knowledge of its harmful effects in the past is intellectually malevolent and morally culpable.

Whose Culpability is Greater the Union’s or the Government’s

Two questions therefore arise. Is the intelligence of unions commensurate with their powers? Or is it the case that union power is more like the wings of an eagle attached to a pigeon head? If the answer to the second question is affirmative, then one further question is posed, i.e., why then was the political wing of the Labor Party, which is now in government and having the expertise of knowing better about the dire economic effects of industrial unrest to the country nonetheless was unwilling to intervene promptly and decisively to block the irrational and pernicious claims of its industrial wing, which as a government of all Victorians—Premier Brack’s slogan—was committed in doing? Furthermore, why was the government’s immediate reaction to blame the Federal government’s industrial legislation for the ongoing industrial unrest instead of doing something that would have stifled the industrial dispute in its initial stages, for which it had prior knowledge, and using the subterfuge of an excuse that it was constrained by the legislation and could do nothing effective toward its resolution? Both the deputy leader of the government John Twaites and the Minister of Industrial Relations Monica Gould, used this feeble argument, when in fact with the return of the Premier from Davos  the latter forced the union involved in the dispute of the Yallourn power station to return back to work by imposing hefty fines upon its members, hence demonstrating that the government had the power to do something effective to resolve the dispute? Wasn’t it rather, the attempt to shift the blame to the federal legislation, a poor ruse, indeed, a camouflage, to cover its lack of will to intervene timely and decisively and derail the union from its “crashing” course? Yet, the belated action was effective, even if it was done halfheartedly. But what other alternative the government had, at the end of its honeymoon with the electorate, other than to send the stalled fire engines out to extinguish the full blown fire, if it was not to be seen, and impugned, in the electorates eyes, as politically effete and incompetent?

This is a basic characteristic, however, and an irreversible syndrome of Labor governments. To intervene in industrial disputes only when political necessity dictates, i.e., only when these disputes have reached a high point with the potential of harming the economy, and hence would be politically damaging. For organizational and ideological reasons Labor governments are not prone to intervene in the wrangles of their comrade-in-arms with employers, but do so only as a last resort.

This general inaction of Labor governments in industrial disputes is a result first, of a common ideology shared with the unions whose core emanates from the principles of socialism, and secondly, from its constitutional organizational structures that tie the political and industrial wings of the Party into a powerful body and into a compact of consensus that determines the functions of each wing. In conference after conference of the Party, the common and often repeated refrain is that Labor occupies the treasury benches only for the purpose of implementing policies which are discussed and ratified in state and federal conferences in whose conception the unions and its sundry representatives, mainly academics, have a major input. The union’s dominance is illustrated not only in the generation and formation of policies (Its architects generally are academics from the Left, whose intellectual frustration is at a boiling point because their ideas and policies cannot pass muster among other academic luminaries, but who do find a paradisiacal outlet for their “time-stopped” ideas, as well as an adulatory audience among their comrades in the unions, who normally cannot separate the wheat from the chaff of these ideas), but also on the conference floor as sixty percent of its delegates must be union representatives according to the Party’s constitution.

The larger and, especially, the more militant unions have such a firm grip in the election of delegates to Party forums, that even ministers and would-be premiers often cannot be elected to these meetings. Many ministers , therefore, who are unable to be elected to conferences on their own authority, resort to “begging” less militant unions to be placed in their delegations as constitutionally the unions have the authority to do so. Hence only as supplicants to the unions are ministers able to participate in conferences. For example, Jim Kennan, the Attorney General in the Cain Government, for many years was a delegate of the Clothing Trades Union. Likewise too, Steven Bracks, the current premier, was a delegate of the same union, who had taken Kennan’s place with the latter’s departure from politics. Other ministers who are not as fortunate to be union delegates attend conferences as visitors and observers without the right to move, or vote for, resolutions of the conference. Hence, ministers and many of their advisers are left out from the formulation and ratification of the Party’s policies. Such is the power and influence of unions in the organizational procedures of the Party, that often they cal “lock-out” important ministers who are not close to their ideological positions, from the highest policymaking bodies of the Party.

Moreover, the grip of the unions is extended to the pre-selection procedures of the candidates of the Party as well as in the choosing and changes of the parliamentary leadership, both in the state and federal domains. Who can forget for instance the telephone call that Paul Keating made, during his challenge of Bob Hawke, to Wally Curren, secretary of the Meat Workers Union asking him for his support in the coming challenge to Hawke for the leadership of the government? And Curren obliging, by forcing those MP’s from Victoria who owed their position in parliament to his patronage, to vote for Keating? This irritated Bob Hawke so much asking who Wally Curren was pretending thus ironically that he himself who had ousted and replaced Bill Hayden with union support was not cognizant of the influence trade union leaders have in pre-selections. As for the branches of the Party they play a superficial role in the pre-selection of candidates as they too in turn are influenced in their decisions by the organizational power of the unions.

Labor Politicians at the Mercy of Unions

Being therefore at the mercy of unions for their parliamentary positions and for the buttering of their bread, labor politicians, with some exceptions, are cast as toadies of the unions. Only the Federal Executive of the Party can intervene can intervene and save a ministerial or a backbencher’s scalp from the tomahawk of the unions. This occurred when John Halpenny, the Secretary of the Trades Hall Council in Victoria. were placed in the number one position on the senate ticket, with massive union support, in the 1988 federal election, relegating the leader of the Senate, John Button, to the second position. And in the election following the one in 1988, some of the left-wing unions were deliberating whether or not to place Gareth Evans, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the second position on the senate ticket. Only some sober heads at the last moment saved the glitterati Minister from the rusty and blood-stained tomahawk of the unions and from posthumous obloquy. (But the power of the Federal Executive is limited, as is illustrated in the present coming election of 2007 in the seat of Coreo, where the current seating member, Gavin O’Connor, is replaced by an assistant secretary of the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions), against the wishes of the Executive.)

It’s for all the above reasons, this congeniality of interests between Labor governments and unions that prevents the former from acting timely and decisively in industrial disputes. And even when they do as a last resort they cannot be impartial in their involvement. The Brack government being captive to the unions has to cater to the latter’s voracious appetite on a number of issues: On the restoration of common law damages for injured workers, which has already being done by passing the relevant legislation in parliament, on the restitution of industrial policy back to the State Government, so the latter can abolish the industrial contracts of the Federal Government, whose aim is to eliminate union dominance in industry negotiations, and to replace them with collective bargaining, hence restoring union coercion and thuggery during negotiations with employers. On these issues and on many others, the Labor government is hamstrung by union power. Whether the former will be able to deliver on these issues will depend on the political climate of the day and on the degree of resonance such a delivery will have upon the electorate.

Steve Brack’s therefore, like a trapeze artist, has to walk on a tight rope whose one end is held by the unions and the other by the community, and perform his balancing act. While gratifying the union claims, with potentially destructive consequences to the economy of the State, at the same time he has to keep its economic robustness, inherited from his liberal predecessor, Jeff Kennet, intact, hence erasing any fears or consternations the community might have about the new industrial course of his government.

It’s with this purpose in mind to win the confidence of Victorians and of some naïve employers that Steve Bracks lately set up a new stage with an old play. His government lacking any originality or lateral thinking in policymaking ransacked the ram shackled spider web storehouse of past Labor policies to bring out the nostrums of “old age”. The summit of “Growing Victoria Together”, chaired by that scion of Labor power, Bob Hawke, was such a nostrum. Imbibing a strong dose of self-deception, Bracks was hopeful that by attracting some old and new celebrities from the industrial club and from business to the summit the public would be hoodwinked and believe that something substantial would come from the coupling of these celebrities. What in fact happened, was that each spokesperson of this divided house of unions and employers, voiced plaintively their complaints and grievances against each other with the result that they were not able to reach an agreement as to how and by what prudent set of actions, they would carry out the growth of Victoria. The rhetorical statement at the end of the summit, spun by the golden threads of the cerebral and literary qualities of Bob Hawke and his wife, respectively, could hardly hide the practical hollowness of the summit. What the latter did was to set up a number of committees to look at a number of issues.  Such as education and training, investment in training, industrial relations, health and wellbeing indicators to measure performance in meeting social goals, infrastructure, the impact of payroll tax on job and wealth creation , and the audit of government services in country communities. It also set up an advisory body to strengthen community input, oblivious of the fact, that while the latter is important it is not a substitute for political leadership. Forgetful also of the fact that the achievement of this laudable “prospectus”, is absolutely dependent on calm industrial relations. And therefore cannot be achieved while the agitated firebrand steam of the unions continues unabated.

Hence, the mountain (the summit) has brought forth a mouse which is at the mercy of the cat’s paws, the unions. Furthermore, as so many of the issues are to be shoved to committees, whose members are deeply divided on the central issue of industrial relations, they are inevitably going to be dealt with in a banal hackneyed manner, since their members will be unable to reach a mutual agreement on the key issue of industrial relations. Hence the summit’s “debris-deliberations” will be proven to be a barren exercise.

The Bracks’ government by its farcical and enervating stand toward the unions and by its populist stand toward the public threatens to throw Victoria into the doldrums as well as empty the coffers of the treasury. This is not a government of substance but a government of images—the images of a dead past. But funeral rites for dead images can be very expensive to the general community, both in terms of tax increases and unemployment. 

I rest on my oars: Your turn now

Marxistoid Economists Consider Historically Bankrupt Radical Left as Saviour of Greece.

In view of the ruinous policies of Syriza, and its completely inept negotiations with the European Union, that since its advent into power two and a half years ago is economically, and politically destroying the country, our two economists, Yanis Varoufakis and James Galbraith, who were so vocal is supporting the Marxist party of Syriza, are presently no longer unanimous in their stand toward it. While Varoufakis is a vehement opponent against Syriza and pours profuse vitriol over its leadership, Galbraith, remains totally numb and tuned out. It is for the above reasons that I'm republishing this article that was written four years ago. I hope the readers of this blog will find it of some interest.

Fair is foul, and foul is fair, /Hover through the fog and filthy air (Witches of Macbeth chanting their cursing ditty)

By Con George-Kotzabasis-- July 04, 2013

In their article published in the New York Times  on June 23, under the title “Only the Left Can Save Greece”, the two politically ‘pinkish’ economists teaching in the University of Texas at Austin, James Galbraith (the son of the famous John Galbraith) and Yanis Varoufakis, argue that neither America nor Europe should fear an ascension to power of the Left wing party of Syriza in Greece on the contrary, they should applaud it, as a government of the left would reverse the defective policies of the European Union that have been so destructive to the Greek polity and to its people as well as to many other European countries.

The two economists were shocked at the closure of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) and denounced the Samaras government for its authoritarian and undemocratic action, of depriving Greeks of a public service of information and entertainment that was invaluable to them. The government however closed the public broadcaster temporarily and planned to replace this cesspool of administrative corruption, opacity, and cronyism, for which each Greek household had to pay a levy of 50 Euros per year, with a new public broadcaster not run by the government but by personnel chosen on meritocratic criteria and professionalism that would upgrade the service provided to Greek viewers and at a cheaper price.  Galbraith and Varoufakis, in their support of this corrupt and inefficiently run public entity  and demand of its reopening, found a kindred political ally in the leader of the Marxist party of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, who had committed himself to re-open with all its personnel intact if he became prime minister. Tsipras’ crocodile tears for the public broadcaster, which in the recent past had condemned as being the mouthpiece of the extreme right, exposed his blatant political opportunism in this U-turn from hate to love for ERT. But they found him also to be an invaluable ally to their economic proposals of how to lift Greece out of the crisis. .

Galbraith’s and Varoufakis’ solution to the crisis springs from the growing of a hundred blooming flowers in the luxuriantly prodigal Keynesian garden. Their package of Keynesian remedies consist of “a kind of European equivalent of America’s post-crisis Troubled Asset Relief program; an investment and job program; and a European initiative to meet the social and human crisis by  strengthening  unemployment insurance, basic pensions, deposit insurance, and the expansion of core public institutions like education and health.” Notice, that all of these remedies are to be financed by  government and taxes from private enterprises. How then government can finance all these things when its coffers are empty and depend on European loans to pay for primal services such as schools, hospitals, and public servants, and when private enterprise has no incentive to function or remain in an unstructured economy that has been for many years inimical to it? And the two economists do not make  a pip about the necessity of private foreign and domestic investments that are the only economically sustainable and viable investments that can initiate growth and economic development that are the sine qua non that will pull Greece out of the crisis. And that these investments can only be made under the incentive  of structural economic reforms that are favorable to private enterprise, and strict fiscal policies that perforce can only be accomplished by hard measures which are inevitably painful to the general populace.

Since neither the political color nor the gray matter of Galbraith and Varoufakis were able to convince serious politicians and economists in the Euro zone, or Greece, of the correctness of their Keynesian mirage as a solvent to the European and Greek crisis, they found in the fiasco leadership of Syriza, of Tsipras, the intellectual salvation of their by now withered flowers of their Keynesian remedy. (This speaks volumes about the value of their proposals in that they found their support and cerebral salvation in the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Greek left.) Tsipras bereft of any tenable economic policies, and rationalizing this vacuity in policy making by populist rhetorical denunciations of the policies of the Samaras government, eagerly embraced the policies of Galbraith and Varoufakis, which ideologically are cognate to his own as a ne plus ultra government interventionist himself, thus giving to his own policies some sort of academic prestige from this 'south of the border' economists that he is unable to get from more serious experts in the profession. (But beggars cannot choose.)

Indeed, the policies of Tsipras have their source in a variegated coterie of Marxists getting their inspiration from the flashing pan of Marxism, as the rising sun of the latter has long ago disappeared from the astral constellation of the universe, never to rise again. Tsipras, as a true believer of the great man, Karl Marx, attended the Marxist organised Subversive Festival of Zagreb in Croatia last March, which was likewise attended by both Galbraith and Varoufakis. Indeed, the former announced with pride his attendance of the Festival, in a lecture he gave to socialists in the German Parliament last week, where the gladiators of the great imperator Karl Marx had gathered together from all over the world and rushed into the arena of the Amphitheatre of Zagreb, with nets in one hand and swords in the other, to fight and slay the wild animals of capitalism, which their predecessors in the socialist camp, even better armed with technological weapons, had failed to slay. Moreover, Tsipras was an aficionado of Chavez and had visited Venezuela last year with the hope of getting financial help  from its president with an implied commitment of making Greece a protectorate of Venezuela, if not the European Venezuela. And yet Galbraith and Varoufakis in their political naiveté write in their article in the New York Times that the Americans have nothing to fear from a Syriza government.

Galbraith and Varoufakis, like the witches of Macbeth cursing the Samaras' government as foul, undemocratic and authoritarian, slavishly implementing the dictates of the European Union, and as economically incompetent, are predicting its downfall while stirring the pot of their quackish remedies which nobody will 'buy' other than Tsipras. Meanwhile, Samaras wisely, assiduously, and decisively is transforming Greece within the short span of one year by an unprecedented series of structural reforms that are increasing competition--Greece is in the 22 position internationally for the first time--reducing the bureaucracy, especially its inefficient part that was an obstacle to investments, and planning to make it more efficient on meritocratic standards, changing the economic milieu by making it friendly to business and investments, and leashing the arbitrary and ruinous power of unions which for many years had prevented foreign investments in the country. Moreover by his virtuoso performance in the negotiations with the European Union and the IMF, Samaras  has blunted some of the austerity measures that have been a major factor in obstructing the re-igniting of the economy and artfully polishing these measures that will put Greece on the track of development. He was able to convince the leaders of the EU to provide Greece with extra funds for employment programs that will materialize by the beginning of 2014, more resources from the European Bank of Investments so they can be ploughed into small and medium sized businesses. He has started building Autobahns that have created 25,000 new jobs and he has enticed the economically hard thinking Chinese government to invest 350,000 million Euros in the port of Piraeus thus making it the entreport of commerce between south-east Asia and Europe. ( The European Council announced that the port of Piraeus will be named as the capital port of Europe for 2015.) Also the Chinese are interested in making more investments in the infrastructure of the country, especially in its railway network by which they will transport their goods into Europe. But the most important and greatest achievement of the Samaras' government up to this moment has been the building, through Greece, of the conduit by the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) that will convey natural gas from Azerbaijan to the heart of Europe. TAP will invest the huge amount of 1.5 billion in Greece and will generate 12,000 jobs by 2014 in the country. This, according to one authority in the energy industry, has been the personal accomplishment of Samaras who in his visit of Azerbaijan and meeting with the Prime Minister of the country three weeks ago, convinced the latter that it would be more efficient and economically cheaper to build the conduit through Greece instead of through Bulgaria and Romania, a project which the international consortium backing it was favorable to win, and lost it only, with the intervention of Samaras. Furthermore, this enormous investment, behind which one of its investors is the global gigantic company BHPBilliton, engenders confidence to other investors that Greece is about to pull itself out of the crisis, and hence, encourages and attracts more investments into the country and thus will increase employment which is one of the major challenges of the government.

The government under the statesmanship of Samaras is determined to pull Greece out of the crisis and not to squander the sacrifices Greeks had to make for the economic, political, and cultural Renaissance of the country. The great, fair achievements of the Samaras government, in an unprecedented short span of time, are depicted and cursed as foul by the two Marxistoid economists, James Galbraith and Yannis Varoufakis. Ignominy, loss of intellectual honor, is of no concern to them.

I rest on my oars:Your turn now 

Thucydides Engendering Philosopher Warriors is Saviour of Western Civilization

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following is a comment of mine in a Seminar held at the Greek Community Centre in Melbourne, on the 16 of March, 2017, whose theme was, “Thucydides as Philosopher-Historian.” 

The teachings of the philosopher-historian Thucydides are taught assiduously and meticulously in the military academies of the Western world, especially in the United States and Russia.

Thus, these academies are churning out—like Plato’s academy generating philosopher-kings—philosopher-warriors. One such military savant is general Petraeus, the vanquisher of al-Qaeda in Iraq; another two, are generals McMaster and Mattis, the present occupiers respectively of the posts of National Security Adviser and of Defence, in the Trump administration. And it is not an aleatory action or chance event but a deliberate choice, on the part of Trump, that he has appointed high military personnel in key positions of his administration: In anticipatory awareness that America could be attacked with bio-chemical, and, indeed, with nuclear weapons, once the terrorists of Islam acquire them. Such an attack would overturn the USA in an instance from democracy into a military dictatorship, as only the latter could protect America and the rest of the West from this sinister existential threat that is posed by these fanatics.

Two Thucydidean fundamental principles in warfare were, “Know thy Enemy” and “Pre-emptive Attack.” Thus Thucydides in the twentieth-first century, will be the saviour of Western civilization.       

Address to the Former Chief Justice of The High Court of Australia

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In view of the prevention of terrorists attacks targeting main public centres in Melbourne during Christmas, I’m publishing the following address that was delivered by me, at the private chambers of Sir Harry Gibbs (former Chief Justice of The High Court of Australia) on December 14, 2002, who as Chairman of The Samuel Griffith Society presided over its annual general meeting.

Mr. President,

I’m aware that the issue I’m raising is not directly related to the charter of our society. But because our way of life, our values and the lives of our citizens are under threat by a deadly network of fanatic terrorists, and because these values are written and reflected in the Australian Constitution, our society as a defender of the latter, cannot avoid from being embroiled in this war against terrorism and its state sponsors. As in all wars, beyond the human and material mobilization of a nation, the moral and spiritual mobilization of its people is just as important, if not more important. I strongly believe that in the latter mobilization, our society can play a significant and important role.

Recently, there has been a cravenly and ignominious attempt to disarm the country of its strength from effectively confronting this terrorist threat. A secular and sacred chorus have sung an ode in praise of disloyalty and pusillanimity, as the best means of defence against terrorism. Four former prime ministers (Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke and Keating) a Governor General (Bill Hayden) and a motley of religious prelates, disseminated their nihilistic wisdom to the people of this country, as to whether Australia should support the United States in a war against Iraq. Their pronounciamento of No to War, was remarkable for its poverty of thought, for its lack of historical insight, and for its richness in levity. In the latter case this was demonstrated bizarrely by Mr. Keating, who in a tongue-in-cheek interview on channel 10, stated that while we should keep our important alliance with the USA, we should not support the latter in its war against Iraq. In his own inimitable words, he remarked, that a “clever nation—read a clever government under his premiership—could have its-own-cake-and-it eat—too.” Such a proposition is of course based on the assumption that the other party, in this case the USA government, is so stupid, that it would be willing to fall victim to Mr. Keating’s con-man diplomacy and would gratify his penchant of having his cake-and-eating-too.

But despite the lack of seriousness and frivolity of these ideas, propagated by this prominent group of court-jesters, it would a mistake to underestimate the great damage these ideas would make on the moral fibre and on the fighting spirit of the country. It is for this reason that this sophistry of these intellectual usurpers, must be countered and exposed for its spiritual and moral bankruptcy. It would be a historical and political folly to allow these political and religious romantics, the nipple-fed intellectuals of academe, and the populist media, to monopolise, dominate, and debase the debate on the war against terrorism. I believe that our society can play a pivotal role in counter-balancing this monopoly and exposing the brittleness of the arguments of this caricature of statesmanship.

Mr. President, I’m aware of the paucity of the material resources of our society. But this should not be a reason why the wealth of its intellect, imagination, and moral mettle, should lay fallow in these critical times.                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Debate Between American and Australian about War against Fanatical Islam

I'm republishing this debate as a result of Obama's cravenly and strategically foolish action to withdraw from Afghanistan without securing the country from future attacks by the Taliban and preventing its fall into the net of radical Islam.

American says,

For those who think we need to redouble our efforts to "win" the war in Afghanistan, I take it they mean we need to do whatever it takes, militarily and financially, to build a stable Afghan state run and headed by a secure and US-friendly government. I have two problems with this idea. First, I tend to doubt that the US has the wherewithal to accomplish such a goal in such a rugged, decentralized and forbidding country - no matter how much our surge surges. The whole idea seems fantastical.

Second, I don't see how even achieving this fantastical aim would really help with the Al Qaeda issue, since I find it hard to believe that any Afghan government that we can realistically imagine taking shape will have the capacity to prevent Al Qaeda elements from gathering in remote locations and forming bases. As a basis for comparison, can we realistically imagine an Afghan government with even half the capacity of a state like Pakistan? Hardly. And yet Pakistan itself is not in control of large swaths of its country. Pursuing the quixotic state-building plans of the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists is a distraction from the methods that actually work.

My understanding is that we have been engaged in a global campaign against jihadist terrorism for several years now, and the main practical method is to rely on intelligence to stay one step ahead of the folks who actually pose a threat, and then disrupt their efforts, kill their leaders and interdict their operations. We're probably going to have to keep doing that sort of thing for quite some time, just as the effort against organized crime in the US never really ends. If Al Qaeda cadres build some kind of training base in Afghanistan, we go in and blow it up. If they build another one, we blow that one up too. We use predators and covert methods. The same is true of al Qaeda redoubts in Pakistan or Somalia or Yemen, right? We are going to have to do this no matter what kind of government we get in Kabul.

I can't believe that at this late date American political leaders and opinion leaders are still deluded by the theory that the chief enabling cause of terrorism is "state sponsorship", and so that our aim is to manufacture strong states where none exist now. This seems wrong-headed to me. I've used this analogy before, but the militant jihadist movement seems something like the anarchist movement of a century ago. Parts of that movement were violent. Was the solution some sort of state-building process in Europe and the United States? No. There were already strong states in Europe and the US. But it is of the nature of terrorist groups to slip between the cracks in the sovereign power of states.

Anarchist terrorism was basically a law and order problem. The idea was just to stay ahead of the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, and outlast the movement as its ideological fervor gradually dissipated and it burned itself out.

We should never have gotten involved in state building in Afghanistan. Now we have a generation of American leaders who are invested in that project, and see their personal honor and the national honor as riding on its very unlikely success. They need to get real.

Australian says,

Ben Katcher’s intellectually malodorous, and disingenuous, argument has reached the other shores of the Pacific. While he claims that “pouring more troops...into Afghanistan means fewer resources to pursue our other national security objectives across the globe,” he does not mention any of them by name other than the economic crisis mentioned by Dennis Blair. Hence his statement that “strategy is about priorities and trade-offs,” while true in general, is a contrived fiction when he applies it to international terrorism since these other priorities remain nameless. The reason why he does not name them is that if he had identified these priorities and contrasted them with the priority of global terror he would embarrass himself for being ludicrous.

Dan Kervick’s paragraph that contains “we use predators and covert methods,” which incidentally is an idea that I suggested myself too eight years ago, is very interesting although he contradicts himself further down on his post when he contrasts present terror with anarchist terror in the past and says for the latter that it “was basically a law and order problem,” which he first ventilated in a riposte to me on TWN three years ago. Surely, Kervick, who has learnt his logic by sitting in the spacious intellectual laps of Hume and Russel, could not cogently argue that “predators and covert methods” fall in the ambience of “law and order.”

American says,

Kotzabasis says:

"Surely, Kervick, who has learnt his logic by sitting in the spacious intellectual laps of Hume and Russel, could not cogently argue that “predators and covert methods” fall within the ambience of “law and order.”"

I do. When I say that terrorism is a law and order problem, I don't mean that the only tools to be used are the methods of the criminal justice system. Those latter tools have proven effective in many cases, including operations interdicted in the UK and Canada. But given the limits of applying these tools across borders and inside rugged countries, sometimes more aggressive means must be employed. What I mean is that terrorism is fundamentally a problem of a limited number of militant "outlaws", and that the strategy for addressing it should focus on that fact, rather than be distracted by extravagant projects for state improvement and state overhaul.

What I am most skeptical of is the idea that the problem of terrorism is a conventional military problem that calls for the use of conventional military operations - in the form of armies, invasions and occupations - against either states or sub-national "armies". And I am especially skeptical of the idea that the way to address the problem of terrorism is to launch massive - and generally very unrealistic - state-building operations in the hope that some day the dangerous backward parts of the world will be filled with well-functioning and capable states that will be able to suppress all of the militants operating inside their territories.

There are other means that need to be used as well, including denying the terrorists the ideological foothold that multiplies their influence and capability. That means not doing so many things that provide evidence of the very charges the terrorists make. To counter jihadist charges that the United States is hostile to the interests of Arabs and Muslims across the world the United States should stop behaving as if it is indeed universally hostile to the interests of Arabs and Muslims.

Australian says,

Kervick says:

"When I say that terrorism is a law and order problem, I don't mean that the only tools to be used are the methods of the criminal justice system."

Your quote states the obvious. Of course one does not fight terrorism only with police methods but the question is out of all the methods which are the most effective by which one can defeat the jihadists. And while your paragraph in your previous post that mentions “predators” and all the other ‘hard things’ that one has perforce to do against the jihadists is full of strategic clarity, by reverting back to your old argument of three years ago that the present terrorists are similar to the anarchist terrorists of the past and can be interdicted by ‘police’ methods, you unconsciously downgrade the seriousness of your ‘hard things’ position.

Moreover, you are locked in the fallacy of a rational person who premises his actions that his enemies that ‘round’ him up are also rational and if he shows by his actions, in our case America, that he is not against Arabs and Muslims this will bring a definitive change in the attitudes of the jihadists. This is a ‘straightjacket’ delusion that has lost all contact with reality. Islamic fanaticism will not be influenced, soothed, abated, or defeated by moral examples or olive branches but only in the field of battle and that is why a military deployment against it is a prerequisite. In short, it’s just another but more effective method in defeating the jihadists in a shorter span of time.

American says,

C-G Kotzabasis,

I'm talking about the hearts and minds issue. There is a hard core of dyed-in-the-wool militant jihadists with an uncompromising Salafist ideology. They are not going to be swayed by US public diplomacy, or by forseeable changes in US policy. They can only be dealt with forcibly. They must either be captured or killed, and their plans must be disrupted.

But the hard core is surrounded by concentric circles of people who are associated with the hard core by various degrees of fellow-travelling or sympathizing or onlooking. The extent to which the jihadists are able to expand their movement to get material or moral assistance from people in the out rings depends on how well their message resonates.

In my view, the jihadists have been the beneficiaries in recent years of a number of wrong-headed US policies that help their message resonate strongly. If hundreds of innocent people in Gaza have their lives snuffed out in an over-the-top Israeli attack, some as a result of deliberate crimes, with nary a peep from the US Congress, then when your friendly neighborhood jihadist says, "Muslims lives mean nothing to the Americans," that message is going to get much more play on the street than it would if the US Congress had stepped up and condemned the excessive use of force.

Australian says,

Dan Kervick,

Certainly the “hearts and minds issue” is a core issue. But the “concentric circles of people,” will not be influenced by US Congress pronouncements and condemnations, in this case of Israeli actions, if they perceive, which they will, that this change of American policy arises from the weakness of the latter and from the strength of the “hard core” “militant jihadists” in their war with the US. The concentric circles of support for the militants will only disappear by depriving the latter of the ‘aura’ of being seen as the victors (The ethos of Arab pride trumps all.) against the American hegemon. And that entails the imminent and decisive defeat of the militants in the field of battle, as it happened in Iraq to the Sadrist militias and al Qaeda.

Furthermore, your concentrated reasoning loses its force if your policy contains these two incongruous parts: The first one will destroy by predators and covert operations (Which will be seen in the Muslim world as American excesses) the incubators of “Salafist ideology”, which are the madrassas, while the second, will denounce American and Israeli excesses. Do you seriously believe that such denunciation will have greater influence upon fellow-travellers and sympathisers, than the destruction of the madrassas in which many civilians will be killed, and will win their hearts and minds?

Join the debate

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Economists Propose Copycat Roosevelt's New Deal for Resolving European Crisis

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Professor Varoufakis loves metaphors, especially those penned by him! So I too will use a metaphor even if he will hate it. The Modest Proposal (MP) is the offspring of the comely wedlock of Stewart Holland and Yanis Varoufakis but as time passes even beautiful grooms and brides show their wrinkles and need to do something about their withering state and recover their ‘Bo Derek’ status. Thus a new younger bride was added to the old hag this time with a reputable name, though devoid of any accomplishments, that of James Galbraith, the son of the famous John Galbraith. In the two years of the MP”s existence it was unable to entice any eminent economist to support it and only one economist of run-of-the-mill standing added his name to it, i.e., James Galbraith.

The intellectual weight of both Varoufakis and Galbraith has been amply and brazenly demonstrated by a profound article of theirs published in The New York Times, in which they argued that only the left-wing party of Syriza, a potpourri of Marxists, Trotskyists, and green fear mongers, under its leader Alexis Tsipras, a populist demagogue and a mediocrity to boot, could save Greece from the crisis. That the two professors placed the salvation of Greece on the by now historically obsolete and defunct Marxism, vividly reveals their intellectual credentials and on such reputations they are trying to inveigle and persuade first class economists and serious politicians on the European continent that their MP is the panacea that will pull Europe and its periphery out of its virulent crisis.

But to come to the policies of their MP, which they are re-Christening as The European New Deal in imitation of Roosevelt’s New Deal that presumably pulled America out of the crisis and decreased substantially unemployment, they seem to be unaware that the ‘boom’ between 1933 and 1937 still occurred in conditions of depression as unemployment was still at the level of 15% and the depression only ended with America’s entry into the war as a result of the preparation for the latter and as the unemployed were recruited in the armed forces to fight the axis powers on the seas and beaches of the Pacific and on the deserts and fields of Africa and Europe. Moreover, other countries in the depression recovered more quickly than the U.S.A., for example Canada, as during the Hoover administration, from 1930 to 1933, U.S. unemployment was on average 3.9 points higher than Canada’s unemployment and during Roosevelt’s New Deal, from 1934 to 1941, unemployment on average was 5.9 points higher than Canada’s. But it was one of the greatest economists in America Joseph Schumpeter who passed his withering judgment on the New Deal when he blamed it “for the fact that the U.S.A. which had the best chance of recovering quickly was precisely the one to experience the most unsatisfactory recovery.”

The quackery, however, of their MP lies in its implied claim, after the multiple malinvestments, non-investments, and the gargantuan increase of the inefficient public sector and profuse consumption on credit all of which economically devastated the landscape of Southern Europe, that the recovery of the European Union and its periphery can be achieved without pain. That is why they are silent about any structural reforms and the privatization of the public sector, and the need of increasing competitiveness--which are primal conditions for any sustainable recovery--that inevitably involve severe pain for the majority of the people, especially in conditions of depression. But this is understandable as to admit the necessity of pain would shatter their wish and fanciful fantasy to live in the best of all possible painless worlds, and thus would debunk them from the comforts of an idyllic existence on an earth bound paradise.

Furthermore, and this is the most important factor, the crux of their MP is based on an assumption, whose chances of being realized is infinitesimally small, that the issuing of bonds by the ECB and the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be bought by public and private institutions as well as individuals to the degree necessary so the former can fund their programs and thus start the roll of the recovery. It will be hardly reassuring to these institutions and individuals however, to know that their money will be invested in countries of the European periphery with their chronic record of being economically underperforming and default looming is the order of the day. Who would be willing to invest in a seat on the Titanic? It is easy to buy bonds during a time of prosperity but is it as easy to buy them in conditions of economic crisis when there is greater uncertainty about future prospects? Moreover, what reassurance and confidence will render to the public a clause of “super-seniority status” that clearly adumbrates a high probability of “hard default?” It is precisely in highly risk conditions that such clauses are necessary. And once one inadvertently flags such a high risk one turns the market more bearish and scares members of the public from purchasing bonds. In such conditions Keynes’s “liquidity trap” reigns! So what is the fate of the MP, if the bonds purchased by institutions and the public are not adequate in number to finance the grandiose scheme of a European New Deal, other than its inglorious burial! And what will happen to Yanis Varoufakis? Will he abdicate from his vocation as an economist and enter successfully another profession, such as futurologyto compensate for his failure as an economist?

Lastly, what real resources other than artificial ones, such as the printing press and inflation, have the ECB, the EIB, and the European Stability Mechanism for launching a program of such huge dimensions? These are the questions that make the scientific validity of the Modest Proposal dubious. And these unanswered questions by the sires of the MP turn the latter intellectually untouchable to serious economists.

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Greek Professor Demeans himself by Becoming Ventriloquist to Leader of Opposition

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The globe-trotting Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis who flies around the world on other peoples money to spread his Cassandra doomsday scenarios about the European Union and especially of Greece, in his latest preoccupation, deviously and exuberantly praises the leader of the opposition Alexis Tsipras for his speech before an assembly of Austrian Social Democrats in Vienna. Well that he is doing so, since the speech is a copycat of his own ideas as encapsulated in his Modest Proposal as well as in other of his writings, and therefore his praise of Tsipras, in the event, is an ungracious self-praise of himself. He has kept silent as to the authorship of the speech and to the questions of some of the commentators on his blog whether he wrote it, he doesn’t answer yes or no. He answers his questioners with an obfuscating one word that the speech is “verbatim,” but he doesn’t explain of what and of whose text it is verbatim of, hence his deviousness. But even if it is true, which is highly unlikely, that our professor is not the writer of the speech, then the latter cannot be anything else but a complete plagiarism committed by Tsipras of Varoufakis’s ideas and thoughts.

The following is a brief reply to Professor Varoufakis, which was sent to his blog for publication, but he refused to publish it.         

Professor Varoufakis, you are displaying your intellectual bankruptcy by becoming the ventriloquist to Tsipras’s speech. To allow a mediocrity such as Tsipras to be the propagator and presenter of the ideas of your Modest Proposal and other of your own writings, not only shows the self-demotion you inflict upon yourself unconsciously, but also, your narcissistic temperament urging you to exhibit your intellectual wares to wider audiences by any means, even by vendors of disreputable standing.

P.S. I know you don’t have the guts to publish my comment, but at least I’ll get the pleasure that YOU read it.

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President Obama is an Appeaser of Radical Islam

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Barack Obama was, is, and will remain an appeaser of radical Islam, as it is a constituent part of his weak character and more dangerously of his effete leadership. Like a fearful child he avoids his fears by hiding his face under the bed-sheets. This is clearly illustrated by his fudging of the word “jihadist” with its inherent fanatical murderous action --which he fears to admit-- by changing it to the less fearsome one of “workplace violence,” his description of the Fort Hood massacre, whose jihadist perpetrator Dr Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death today. It is by such changes and meaningless laughable words within the scenario of terrorism that the commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation purports to fight the existential threat that radical Islam poses to Western civilization. A black comedy ham is the occupier of the White House.

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Karl Marx as Intellectual Magician

The following is an excerpt from Roberto Calasso’s book The Ruin of Kasch

Looking to the origins, Marx regarded the earth in two different ways: it was at once an “extension of the body” of man, and his “great laboratory,” “arsenal,” “working material.” These antithetical modes recur often in his thought. On the one hand, there is an analogical chain of symbolic correspondences, in which the earth is enfolded as soon as it is considered an “extension of the body” of man (and thus we see despite incessant secularization, terms like “heart,” “brain,” “flesh,” remain symbolic poles). On the other hand, there is an Enlightenment-inspired dissociation, an experimental use of the whole, an absence of premises, represented in the image of the “great laboratory.” But Marx’s attention—and passion—is always directed at the second pole. The first, he realizes, obviously exists; but he is clearly too bored by it to specify its characteristics. For him it suffices to posit a state of belonging, both at the origin and (though here it is more problematic) at the end, as well as a considerable number of states of separation, in all that occurs between those two stages. Marx analyzes these states of separation with a kind of tireless, turbulent, sensual pleasure, referring often and eloquently to something lost or to be recovered. But his eloquence fades, and he becomes suddenly distracted, as soon as he has the opportunity to clarify exactly what has been lost and what might be recovered. All this does not imply that Marx has given two incompatible definitions of the “land” of origin. The definitions are indeed discordant and contradictory, but they have always lived side by side in history: one is the latency of the other. Marx reveals his perceptiveness in the very fact that he posits them together. The euhemeristic gesture, the severing of correspondences, also takes place where the order of analogies has been established. Indeed, the order can be regarded as a conciliatory reply, a suturing of correspondences that ritually follows every act of severing.(magic)

“Fully developed individuals, those whose social ties are completely their own, who are borne of communal relations which they control collectively—such individuals are products not of nature but of history. The degree and universality of the development of abilities in which this type of individuality becomes possible presuppose production based on exchange value. This production, together with universality, for the first time gives rise to the alienation of the individual from himself and from others, but it also creates the universality and all-sidedness of his relations and abilities (Continuation of magic). In earlier stages of development, the single individual appears fuller, because he has not yet realized the fullness of his relations and established them as an ensemble of powers and social relations independent of him. It is as absurd to regret this original fullness, as it is to think that we must forever remain in our current state of emptiness. The bourgeois viewpoint has never gone beyond the antithesis between itself and this romantic viewpoint, and thus the latter will accompany it as its legitimate antithesis until the blessed end of the bourgeoisie.” This passage exalts the metaphysical function of capital, which stands magnificently apart from everything else we know. Other apologists lack Marx’s far-sightedness, and never can attribute such evocative power to the commerce they are defending. The universal itself, that spoiled firstborn child of the bourgeois era, is here considered the offspring of “production on the basis of exchange values”—and of nothing else. Marx disdains the communitarian connectedness of all prior stages (even though he is ready to shed a hypocritical tear for its lost “original fullness”), because he knows that those stages are inevitably bornes, limited. And for Marx, Borniertheit is the supreme defect, worse than any emptiness. It is a permanent threat, a hostile memory of the ghetto.

The “original fullness” is not polutropos, not “all-sided”; this is what Marx means. (But does Ulysses belong to that “origin” or not? A question which remains unanswered.) At the other end of history we see that, in an age when the bourgeoisie is flourishing most successfully, the essence of the bourgeois individual is indeed universal but completely empty, void, hollow, the result of an inexorable process of emptying. The anthropological question must then be posed in these terms: How are we to deal with that “total emptying” without yielding to some fatuous reference to the lost “original fullness”?

At this point the apparatus of dialectic, with all its deceptive aggressiveness, once again seems immensely useful. What development has emptied, development will refill (the magician in action). People will talk about “universal development of individuals” instead of about the relations of production. Thus, instead of speaking of a real emptying, they will use a vacuous expression that nevertheless is tuned to the inclinations of a period which, more than any other, wants to “make it on its own.” One need only avoid certain questions. What if the concrete (the individual) stubbornly refuses? And what if the universal will tolerate continued existence only in conditions of perfect emptiness? Around these same points, some masterly sleight of hand had already been performed by Hegel. Now Marx did the same, though his methods were cruder and he knew much less about the history of philosophy. And such legerdemain would be performed countless more times, with ever more brutal manners, by increasingly nefarious great-grandchildren, travelling cadres of the Third International, or the heirs of some black Byzantium, inhaling the sacrificial fumes of polytechnic schools while waiting to transform their savannah {the leaders of the Khmer Rouse in Cambodia in the aftermath of studying in France and absorbing the tenets of the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser} into a bloody scene a la Raymond Roussel, steeped in slaughter, to baptize a belated entry into history.

Marx does not always abandon himself unrestrainedly to the worship of “development.” Behind the word, he sometimes glimpses inevitable divergences. There are passages in which he comes dangerously close to asserting a full break between the two models of development, one perverse (that of capital) and one good (that which comes after capital); and in so doing he lets down his guard…

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Rudd Stopping the Boats at the Price of Exposing his Cant about his Humanitarianism

By Con George-Kotzabasis—June 24, 2013

At last, Kevin Rudd, after swallowing a double dose of Viagra he is entering the ‘seraglio of reality’ that you can only stop the boats carrying asylum seekers not by a policy of immaculate conception, as he has done in the past when he repudiated and displaced Howard’s Pacific Solution, but only by forcefully violating the ‘hymen’ of this intricately difficult problem and giving birth to a hard line policy that will decisively stop illegal migrants from entering Australia. His deal with Papua New Guinea (PNG) to resettle refugees in the latter is a masterstroke that will achieve this up till now elusive goal.

This is a craftily made disincentive that will comprehensibly deter asylum seekers from reaching the shores of Australia by boat, since they will know beforehand that they will be send to New Guinea for perpetual settlement. And with the barrage of advertisements that the Rudd government is preparing that will make explicit the new government policy to would-be refugees and by implicitly conveying to them the inimical environment in which they will be residing, this will erase any incentive  attempting to enter Australia by paying people smugglers when their dangerous and expensive passage over the sea will take them not to the social and economic paradise of Australia but to the hellish socio-economic conditions of the dangerous land of PNG. And the veracity of the appalling and dangerous environment in which refugees will be placed is being ironically corroborated, willy-nilly, by all their ‘humanitarian’ supporters, like David Marr, and defence lawyers, who have already in their shrill shouts denounced Rudd’s announcement as “a day of shame” for Australia depicting in dramatic terms the great dangers that refugees will be facing in this hellishly bad setting once they are settled in PNG. After refugees becoming cognisant of the infernal conditions in which they will be living in, by these statements of their own supporters too (thus all the fans and backers of asylum seekers will find themselves being redundant and deprived of their libidinal pleasure by showing their heart on their sleeves, by their own ironic contribution to the stopping of the boats), who of the illegal migrants would be willing to pay a smuggler to be transported by Charon to the Hades of PNG and not to the paradisiac land of Australia?

Beyond any doubt, if the Rudd government will retain to the end the strength and acquire the determination to implement this hard line policy and there are no insurmountable legal challenges to it will exultantly succeed in this endeavour to protect the borders of Australia. And Kevin Rudd from a weak politician will be metastasized into the Roman god Terminus who guarded the boundaries of the republic by the force of arms. But if he is going to avoid from embarrassing the Roman god, he must tear the veil of pretence that covers the ugly features of this new policy and hails it as being humanitarian by arguing fatuously and emotionally that it will save lives by preventing boat people from drowning. Indeed, he will save them from drowning at sea but only by drowning them on dry land, in the socially cesspool of Papua New Guinea. Thus, his ‘humanitarianism’ will be swallowed in the whirlpool of his own hard line policy. Mockingly, he himself has already admitted that his new policy on illegal migrants has all the hard features of a porcupine—to use a metaphor. And the reason he has adopted this porcupine is, other than winning votes, to prevent boat people coming to Australia.

In his by now double replication of “me-tooism”of John Howard—the first time he professed to be willing to imitate Howard, as dyed in the wool conservative, in economic policy, this time he is doing it on border protection—he is out-distancing the latter in his hard line, like a galloping horse running next to a mule. And if he doesn’t lose his balance riding this winning stallion over the rough ground of politics, which so many times before enfeebled his policies by making them captive to populism, he will triumphantly pass the winning post and stop the boats.

I rest on my oars: your turn now              

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The Centres of Capitalism During its Rise

By Con George-Kotzabasis

@110 Tim Wilkinson—Starting from your last sentence. The great French historian, Fernand Braudel, in his magnum opus Civilization and Capitalism delineates the moving Centres of the World-Economy, i.e., Capitalism, initially from Venice, to Genoa, to Antwerp, to Amsterdam, to London and finally to New York. The propelling force of this movement was the ceaseless ever increasing and greater rolling achievements of these metropolises that were at the centre of capitalist development during which its long duration led, for the first time in history, to the improvement of “the lot of humanity” by raising in leaps and bounds its standard of living. The fact that America replaced Britain as the centre of capitalist dynamism was the ne plus ultra achievement of the United States. Are you a human metamorphosed into an ostrich that refuses to see these facts?

To associate Schumpetarean entrepreneurship with spoliation and plunder is to disassociate from serious intellectual discourse. Plunder is the vocation of pirates not of creative entrepreneurs! 

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Marxistoid Economists Support Politically Bankrupt Left as Saviour of Greece

Fair is foul, and foul is fair, /Hover through the fog and filthy air (Witches of Macbeth chanting their cursing ditty)

By Con George-Kotzabasis-- July 04, 2013

In their article published in the New York Times  on June 23, under the title “Only the Left Can Save Greece”, the two politically ‘pinkish’ economists teaching at the University of Texas at Austin, James Galbraith (the son of the famous John Galbraith) and Yannis Varoufakis, argue that neither America nor Europe should fear an ascension to power of the Left wing party of Syriza in Greece on the contrary, they should applaud it, as a government of the left would reverse the defective policies of the European Union that have been so destructive to the Greek polity and to its people as well as to many other European countries.

The two economists were shocked at the closure of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) and denounced the Samaras government for its authoritarian and undemocratic action, of depriving Greeks of a public service of information and entertainment that was invaluable to them. The government however closed the public broadcaster temporarily and planned to replace this cesspool of administrative corruption, opacity, and cronyism, for which each Greek household had to pay a levy of 50 Euros per year, with a new public broadcaster not run by the government but by personnel chosen on meritocratic criteria and professionalism that would upgrade the service provided to Greek viewers and at a cheaper price.  Galbraith and Varoufakis, in their support of this corrupt and inefficiently run public entity  and demand of its reopening, found a kindred political ally in the leader of the Marxist party of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, who had committed himself to re-open with all its personnel intact if he became prime minister. Tsipras’ crocodile tears for the public broadcaster, which in the recent past had condemned as being the mouthpiece of the extreme right, exposed his blatant political opportunism in this U-turn from hate to love for ERT. But they found him also to be an invaluable ally to their economic proposals of how to lift Greece out of the crisis. .

Galbraith’s and Varoufakis’ solution to the crisis springs from the growing of a hundred blooming flowers in the luxuriantly prodigal Keynesian garden. Their package of Keynesian remedies consist of “a kind of European equivalent of America’s post-crisis Troubled Asset Relief program; an investment and job program; and a European initiative to meet the social and human crisis by  strengthening  unemployment insurance, basic pensions, deposit insurance, and the expansion of core public institutions like education and health.” Notice, that all of these remedies are to be financed by  government and taxes from private enterprises. How then government can finance all these things when its coffers are empty and depend on European loans to pay for primal services such as schools, hospitals, and public servants, and when private enterprise has no incentive to function or remain in an unstructured economy that has been for many years inimical to it? And the two economists do not make  a pip about the necessity of private foreign and domestic investments that are the only economically sustainable and viable investments that can initiate growth and economic development that are the sine qua non that will pull Greece out of the crisis. And that these investments can only be made under the incentive  of structural economic reforms that are favorable to private enterprise, and strict fiscal policies that perforce can only be accomplished by hard measures which are inevitably painful to the general populace.

Since neither the political color nor the gray matter of Galbraith and Varoufakis were able to convince serious politicians and economists in the Euro zone, or Greece, of the correctness of their Keynesian mirage as a solvent to the European and Greek crisis, they found in the fiasco leadership of Syriza, of Tsipras, the intellectual salvation of their by now withered flowers of their Keynesian remedy. (This speaks volumes about the value of their proposals in that they found their support and cerebral salvation in the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Greek left.) Tsipras bereft of any tenable economic policies, and rationalizing this vacuity in policy making by populist rhetorical denunciations of the policies of the Samaras government, eagerly embraced the policies of Galbraith and Varoufakis, which ideologically are cognate to his own as a ne plus ultra government interventionist himself, thus giving to his own policies some sort of academic prestige from this 'south of the border' economists that he is unable to get from more serious experts in the profession. (But beggars cannot choose.)

Indeed, the policies of Tsipras have their source in a variegated coterie of Marxists getting their inspiration from the flashing pan of Marxism, as the rising sun of the latter has long ago disappeared from the astral constellation of the universe, never to rise again. Tsipras, as a true believer of the great man, Karl Marx, attended the Marxist organised Subversive Festival of Zagreb in Croatia last March, which was likewise attended by both Galbraith and Varoufakis. Indeed, the former announced with pride his attendance of the Festival, in a lecture he gave to socialists in the German Parliament last week, where the gladiators of the great imperator Karl Marx had gathered together from all over the world and rushed into the arena of the Amphitheatre of Zagreb, with nets in one hand and swords in the other, to fight and slay the wild animals of capitalism, which their predecessors in the socialist camp, even better armed with technological weapons, had failed to slay. Moreover, Tsipras was an aficionado of Chavez and had visited Venezuela last year with the hope of getting financial help  from its president with an implied commitment of making Greece a protectorate of Venezuela, if not the European Venezuela. And yet Galbraith and Varoufakis in their political naiveté write in their article in the New York Times that the Americans have nothing to fear from a Syriza government.

Galbraith and Varoufakis, like the witches of Macbeth cursing the Samaras' government as foul, undemocratic and authoritarian, slavishly implementing the dictates of the European Union, and as economically incompetent, are predicting its downfall while stirring the pot of their quackish remedies which nobody will 'buy' other than Tsipras. Meanwhile, Samaras wisely, assiduously, and decisively is transforming Greece within the short span of one year by an unprecedented series of structural reforms that are increasing competition--Greece is in the 22 position internationally for the first time--reducing the bureaucracy, especially its inefficient part that was an obstacle to investments, and planning to make it more efficient on meritocratic standards, changing the economic milieu by making it friendly to business and investments, and leashing the arbitrary and ruinous power of unions which for many years had prevented foreign investments in the country. Moreover by his virtuoso performance in the negotiations with the European Union and the IMF, Samaras  has blunted some of the austerity measures that have been a major factor in obstructing the re-igniting of the economy and artfully polishing these measures that will put Greece on the track of development. He was able to convince the leaders of the EU to provide Greece with extra funds for employment programs that will materialize by the beginning of 2014, more resources from the European Bank of Investments so they can be ploughed into small and medium sized businesses. He has started building Autobahns that have created 25,000 new jobs and he has enticed the economically hard thinking Chinese government to invest 350,000 million Euros in the port of Piraeus thus making it the entrepot of commerce between south-east Asia and Europe. ( The European Council announced that the port of Piraeus will be named as the capital port of Europe for 2015.) Also the Chinese are interested in making more investments in the infrastructure of the country, especially in its railway network by which they will transport their goods into Europe. But the most important and greatest achievement of the Samaras' government up to this moment has been the building, through Greece, of the conduit by the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) that will convey natural gas from Azerbaijan to the heart of Europe. TAP will invest the huge amount of 1.5 billion in Greece and will generate 12,000 jobs by 2014 in the country. This, according to one authority in the energy industry, has been the personal accomplishment of Samaras who in his visit of Azerbaijan and meeting with the Prime Minister of the country three weeks ago, convinced the latter that it would be more efficient and economically cheaper to build the conduit through Greece instead of through Bulgaria and Romania, a project which the international consortium backing it was favorable to win, and lost it only, with the intervention of Samaras. Furthermore, this enormous investment, behind which one of its investors is the global gigantic company BHPBilliton, engenders confidence to other investors that Greece is about to pull itself out of the crisis, and hence, encourages and attracts more investments into the country and thus will increase employment which is one of the major challenges of the government.

The government under the statesmanship of Samaras is determined to pull Greece out of the crisis and not to squander the sacrifices Greeks had to make for the economic, political, and cultural Renaissance of the country. The great, fair achievements of the Samaras government, in an unprecedented short span of time, are depicted and cursed as foul by the two Marxistoid economists, James Galbraith and Yannis Varoufakis. Ignominy, loss of intellectual honor, is of no concern to them.

I rest on my oars:Your turn now 

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Kevin Rudd Escalating his Political Immaturity

In view of his gaffe on Indonesia that Australia's policies on illegal migrants under Tony Abbot could spark a war between them, I'm republishing this short piece that was written in 2008.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In our times when rogue states bristling in their apocalyptic beards, like Iran, could produce stealthily nuclear weapons, to set up an International Commission for nuclear disarmament, as Prime Minister Rudd proposes to do, is the ultimate stupidity that any one could suggest. And in the aftermath of 9/11, the magnitude of such stupidity takes astronomical dimensions. Just imagine that countries such as America, Britain, France, and especially, Israel, which could be the targets of a nuclear attack by an Islamist state or by proxies of the latter, would even consider their nuclear disarmament.

Rudd’s proposal limpidly illustrates that Australia does not have a statesman at the helm but a political dilettante and a populist to boot who is more concerned to ingratiate himself with the celestial wishes of its liberal minded constituency than to deal with geopolitical realities.

Moreover, what is rather surprising and amusing is to see that Gareth Evans is willing to underwrite such political buffoonery by accepting the chair of the International Commission for nuclear disarmament. It seems that his Tasmanian “Biggles” days are not over.

Your opinion…

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Frivolous Stand of Pasok and Democratic Left on Closure of Public Broadcaster Could Lead to Fall of Government

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The politically thoughtless and opposing stand of Pasok and Demar (Democratic Left) to the closure of the corrupt, wasteful, and non-transparent opaque ERT, by the Samaras government, that needed three or eight times more staff than it was necessary, and its replacement in the next few months by a new public broadcaster employing its personnel on axiocratic criteria and not on corrupt government appointments, could endanger the cohesion of the tripartite coalition that is so crucial of Greece’s exit from the economic crisis. Venizelos and Kouvelis must realize that the political fortunes of their parties, since they made their intelligent, brave, and politically responsible decision to support a New Democracy government, are tied-up with the success or not of the Samaras government of extricating the country from its economic woes and thus saving the country from a devastating and calamitous bankruptcy. The electorate will not remember or extol their parties for their stand against the closure of ERT or for any other issue that is secondary to the main goal, i.e., pulling Greece out of the crisis, but will punish them electorally if the Samaras government fails in this great task.

That is why it is stupendous foolishness on the part of Pasok and Demar to jeopardise the up till now correct policies of the Samaras government that show clearly, according to all serious economic commentators and institutions such as Standard and Poor’s and Finch, that Greece has been put on the right track to overcome the crisis and these policies will reignite its economy at the beginning of next year.

The respective leaders of Pasok and Demar must be constantly alert and on guard not to derail the Samaras government, either by inadvertence or by frivolous, doltish, and politically irresponsible stunts, which with accelerating speed reaches the goal of putting an end to the crisis. As the corollary to the derailment of the Samaras government will be the total political obliteration of Pasok and Demar as a result of their association with a failed government. But it will be worse; their destruction will lead to the destruction of Greece itself. The collapse of the Samaras government will be followed by the rise to power either of the extreme left or the extreme right. Thus Pasok and Demar by contributing accidentally if not stupidly to the collapse of New Democracy will be opening the doors of totalitarianism to the country. Will they persist to oppose the Samaras government on secondary issues with the danger of creating an unstoppable momentum against it that could fracture the ideologically brittle composition of the tripartite government? Will Venizelos and Kouvelis foolishly sow their political wild oats on a ground whose pernicious crop will be Syriza or Golden Dawn?

Hic Rhodus hic salta

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American and European Liberals ecstatic about the Popish Obama

I'm republishing the following short piece that shows that with the first grapeshot of reality the liberal's idealism about the great prospects of the Obama administration was destroyed and collapsed upon their politically naive heads.

Will Hillary Clinton Be Bad Cop to Obama’s Good Cop?

By Steve Clemons Washington Note, Nov. 22. 2008

A retort by Con George-Kotzabasis

This is an explosion of Steve’s libido of idealism after the inhibitions and frustrations he suffered under the Bush-Cheney administration. Finally, in the cloudless sky of Obama-made American idealism we are seeing Steve taking wings. But he cannot see that it’s dangerous to fly too close to the Sun of idealism and those who do ultimately have the fate of Icarus, like all idealistic ventures that fly in the face of reality.

It’s obvious that the American intelligentsia and its counterpart in Europe are still playing with the silky and well varnished toys of their childhood in an adult milieu. They countenance the ‘brutal’ geopolitics of the world like Church prelates who by spreading the aroma of their balm to this world they will make this miasma of terrorist brutality disappear. And the new Pope Obama will do exactly that.

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Greece: What to Do with Missed the Mark Politics of Pasok and the Democratic Left?

By Con George-Kotzabasis May 3, 2013

The Samaras’ Government, like Atlas on his back, is carrying and attempting to transform and move Greece’s awesome heavy burden of unprecedented economic insolvency, since the ending of the Second-World-War, onto the stage of economic recovery and development. By succeeding in this most difficult enterprise it will also justify the positive, against the negative, economic remedies formulated in the second Memorandum by the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the so called Troika, for the purpose of saving Greece from economic catastrophe, and thus simultaneously enhance the credibility, and indeed, the survival of the EU as an institution of crucial influence and guidance in world affairs.

In this call to national salvation three politically and ideologically disparate parties 0f New Democracy, Pasok, (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) and the Democratic Left (Demar) decided to form a coalition government whose main goal was to keep Greece within the European Union and salvage the country, with the financial help of the latter, from economic bankruptcy that would have devastated the standard of living of the major part of the population and would have brought a proud nation to the status of indigence and economic despair for at least a generation. The two leaders, of Pasok and Demar, Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis, respectively, seeing the prodigious dangers the country was facing, raised their height to these dire circumstances and wisely decided to stand hand in hand with an ideological opponent, that is, the liberal conservative party of New Democracy and its leader Antonis Samaras, for the purpose of saving Greece from this imminent catastrophe. Hence the two leaders of the left put their ideological reputation and the future viability, and, indeed, the existence of their parties at immense risk by their decision to support a government led by Samaras, their erstwhile conservative opponent, and tie themselves and their parties to the fortunes of the latter, that is, whether the Samaras’ government will succeed or not in pulling the country out of the crisis and start the economic development that is so vital in overcoming the terrifying economic difficulties that Greece countenances at the moment.

There are grounds to make one believe that Greece economically and politically might be at a turning point. The Samaras government after succeeding in convincing its European partners, in exceedingly difficult negotiations, to provide the funds Greece needed, to ignite its economy and place the country on the path of development, under less onerous terms of the bailout than the initial ones the Europeans were demanding. This was a great success and a great achievement of the government and demonstrating at the same time its virtuoso skills in the art of negotiations.

The government announced last month that it had beat its budget targets for 2012. Finance Minister Stournaras claimed that the government was close to achieving a primary surplus—the budget surplus before taking into account payments on the debt—this year that would deliver, according to the mutual agreement of the parties, a further package of help from the Euro-zone.  Employment statistics also showed, that within the span of the last two months the number of workers hired exceeded by nearly nine thousand the number of workers dismissed for the first time since the crisis. Furthermore, the recapitalization of the banks was on track and bound to be consummated in the next few weeks and the spigots of liquidity were therefore ready to be opened that would provide the private sector the funds for investment. Last week, the president of the National Bank stated that levels of liquidity are progressively established and 10 billion Euros could flow into the real economy. And already 50% of one thousand of small and large private enterprises announced that they were preparing to start investing within the current year. The internationally renowned telecommunications company Nokia is planning to establish a branch in Athens that would employ hundreds of highly skilled technicians and could become a magnet that would attract other foreign corporate giants to the country and thus by their presence would provide a continuous economic confidence for the country’s future. The Task Force of the European Commission last week issued favourable reports that the Greek economy was about to be re-ignited although it warned the government that small businesses had been dried of funds and their future operations were at risk. Also the credit ratings agency Moody’s estimated that Greece would have a positive rate of growth in 2014, after five years of negative growth.

Thus we see that there are ample encouraging signs that Greece might be at the crucial point of overcoming the crisis. It is most important therefore that the two parties, Pasok and Demar, that support the Samaras government, must first take note of these auspicious indices and that the current measures of the government are putting the country on the axis of economic development, and second, must not jeopardise this favourable situation by rigidly sticking to their parties position on other issues, such as labor relations and on the restructuring of the public sector, which are contrary to the overall current policy of the government and could endanger the economic progress the latter is making in overcoming the crisis.

The coalition partners must become fully aware that their political viability is tied up not with the sacred ideological position these parties hold on a variety of issues, contra the neo-liberal position of New Democracy, and pushing these toward their consummation, at this critical juncture whose primary goal is the salvation of the country, is a most imprudent diversion from the main goal. On the contrary, their political future is tied up with the success of the Samaras government in pulling the country out of the crisis. The electorate will not remember them and will not elect them for being pure to their ideological position but for their pragmatic support of a neo-liberal government that saved Greece from economic oblivion and mass poverty. In the event the Samaras administration fails in this complex immensely difficult and great task would likewise totally discredit and everlastingly condemn and cast to political oblivion both Pasok and Demar for their support of this failed government, no matter how favorable the former have been on other minor issues, in comparison to the major issue, that are dear to the hearts of the many. Their responsibility to the country and to themselves therefore lies in their pragmatic assessment of the policies of the government beyond ideology as to whether they are better placed to extricate the country from the crisis.

It is for this reason that in this process of the Renaissance of Greece, under the wise and strong leadership of Antonis Samaras, the cohesion of these partners in the salvation of the country is of unaccountable importance. Thus for Pasok and Demar not to miss the mark is to realize that the failure or success, in this uniquely historical venture of saving Greece, will determine their political viability in the future and not their ideological hues on secondary issues.

I rest on my oars:your turn now

 

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All the President's Disablers

I'm republishing this paper written in 2007  as the intellectual prattling know-all elite continue to disparage and malign George Bush for his decision to invade Iraq.

A response by Con George-Kotzabasis to:

All the President’s Enablers by Paul Krugman

The New York Times July 20, 2007

The fundamental principle of power and of any political activity is that these should never be any appearance of weakness. Niccolo Machiavelli

The eminent professor of economics Paul Krugman who ditched his solid professorial chair for the ephemeral glitter and celebrity status that accrues from being a peer pundit of The New York Times, ridicules George Bush, in his latest article, of a misplaced confidence that verges to a “lost touch with reality”. Confident to bring in Osama dead or alive, confident toward the insurgents “to bring it on”, confident that the war will be won, when the latest report of the National Intelligence Estimate is so gloomy about the prospects in Iraq and the war against al Qaeda that would make even the most optimistic of Presidents to have second thoughts about his policy, but not George Bush. Krugman states, “thanks to Mr. Bush’s poor leadership America is losing the struggle with al Qaeda. Yet Mr. Bush remains confident”. Such a stand “doesn’t demonstrate Mr. Bush’s strength of character” but his stubbornness to prove himself right despite the grim reality.

But Krugman saves his main grapeshot to fire it against the Republican doyen Senator Richard Luger and General Petraeus both of whom he considers to be the “smart sensible” enablers of the President. He argues that while Senator Luger knows, and indeed, acknowledges, that Bush’s policy in Iraq is wrong, he nonetheless is not prepared to take a strong stand against it. And he cleverly in anticipation of the September report of General Petraeus that might be favourable to the situation on the ground as an outcome of the surge, he launches a pre-emptive strike on the credibility of the general by quoting extensively from an article the latter wrote in the Washington Post on Sept. 26, 2004, whose assessment about Iraq at the time was overly optimistic if not completely wrong. In the article the general wrote, “that Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country and their security forces courageously” and “are displaying courage and resilience” and “momentum has gathered in recent months”. It’s by such implied non sequiturs that our former professor attempts to discredit General Petraeus. Just because he might have been “wrong” in the past it does not follow that he would be wrong also in the future. And Krugman caps his argument by saying that because of these “enablers” of the President, “Mr. Bush keeps doing damage because many people who understand how his folly is endangering the nation’s security still refuse, out of political caution and careerism, to do anything about it”.

But how serious are these strictures of Krugman against the President and his so called enablers? Let us first deal with the optimism of Bush and his confident statements about the war in Iraq and the struggle against al Qaeda. Krugman is lamentably forgetful that when the President committed the U.S. to take the fight to the terrorists he stated clearly and unambiguously that this would be a generational struggle. And in this long war against al Qaeda and its affiliates and those states that support them, he was confident that America would prevail. Hence all the confident statements of Bush were made in the context of a long span and not of a short one as Krugman with unusual cerebral myopia made them to be. His argument therefore against the President’s optimism and confidence, which he ridicules with the pleasure of one “twisting the knife”, is premised on a misperception. Moreover, did Krugman expect that the Commander-In-Chief of the sole superpower not to have expressed his hopefulness and confidence to the American people, when they were attacked so brutally on 9/11, that the U.S. in this long war would prevail? And is it possible that our pundit to be so unread in history and not to have realized that in all critical moments of a nation’s existence it’s of the utmost importance that its leaders rally their people against a mortal threat with statements of hope and confidence, as Winston Churchill did in the Second World War, that the nation would be victorious against its enemies? Would Krugman have the President of the United States adopt the gloom and doom of the so called realists as a strategy against al Qaeda, its numerous franchises, and the rogue states that support them by sinister and covert means?

Indeed, the liberal’s and The New York Times’  “Bush derangement syndrome…has spread” not only “to former loyal Bushies”, to quote Krugman , but to more than two thirds of the American people thanks to this ignominious coterie of  all the President’s disablers of the liberal establishment, and its pundits, like Paul Krugman. The paramount duty and responsibility of the media, being the Fourth Estate in the political structure of a democratic society, at a time when a nation faces and confronts a great danger from a remorseless and determined enemy, is to morally mobilize and rally its people behind their government and their armed forces that are engaged in war. In the present defensive pre-emptive war--the latter as a result of the nature of the enemy and his potential to acquire nuclear weapons--that has issued from the aftermath of 9/11 and the cogent convincing concerns of the Bush administration of a possible nexus in the near future between al Qaeda and its sundry affiliates with rogue states armed with weapons of mass destruction and nuclear ones, and the portentous and abysmal danger this would pose not only to the U.S. but to the world at large, the media has a “sacred” obligation to unite the American people behind its government of whatever political hue. No errors of judgment or mishandling the planning of the war by the Bush administration can excuse the media from abdicating from this historical responsibility.

There is no fogless war and no one can see and perceive and measure correctly all its dimensions. And the frailty of human nature further exacerbates this inability. But no Churchillian confidence in one’s actions and strategic acumen throws the towel because of mistakes. One corrects one’s errors and keeps intact his resolution to defeat the enemy with a new strategy. (And one has to be reminded that the greatest scientific discoveries have been built on a pile of mistakes.)  It would be an indelible obloquy to one’s amour propre to even consider that these uncivilized obtuse fanatics, and seventy-two virgin pursuers, could come close to conceiving a strategy that would defeat the know-how and scientific mastery of Western civilization and its epitome the United States of America. Only a lack of resolve of its politicians and its opinion-makers, as a result of their fatal embrace with supine populism, appeasement, and pacifism, could lead to such shameful and historic defeat.

America at this critical juncture of its historical and Herculean task to defeat Islamofascism in a long, far from free of heavy casualties, painstaking arduous war  needs a wise, imaginative, and resolute political and military leadership that will overcome all the difficulties and imponderables of war and will strike a decisive lethal blow to this determined suicidal enemy. The new “Surge” strategy of the resolute Bush administration implemented by that “superb commander”, according to his troops, General Petraeus, seems to be accomplishing its objectives. Two prominent and vehement critics of Bush Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack of  The Brookings Institution who had accused the President of mishandling the war, after an eight-day visit in Iraq talking to high officials now believe that we are fighting in “a war we just might win”. And Petraeus, like a stronger Atlas, is pushing the rise of the sun of victory in the up till now dark sky of Iraq. Hence, the courageous actions and sacrifices of U.S soldiers in Iraq are not wasted and will be written with adamantine letters in the military annals. At this momentous noteworthy victory all the President’s and the nation’s disablers will be cast into the pit of ignominy by history. 

I rest on my oars:your turn now   

 

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Terrorists Claim Rights under Loose Garments of Human Rights Lawyers

With the terrorist attack in Boston and the capture of one terrorist human rights lawyers are readying themselves to render to the captured terrorist the Miranda enactment that gives him the right not to talk to the police. It is for this reason that I'm republishing this article written in 2009.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Supreme Court judge Bernard Bongiorno, who is presiding over the biggest terror trial in Australia of the twelve radical Muslims (The “Dirty Dozen” bombers) who were allegedly preparing themselves to be holy martyrs in their jihad against Australia by killing innocent civilians, has been persuaded by SC (Senior Counsel) of the defendants, Jim Kennan and Mark Taft, that the alleged terrorists are being treated inhumanely by the authorities and are in a state of mental collapse.

Before we go into the ruling of the judge I think it would be appropriate to know few things about the two SC of the accused,. Jim Kennan, and MarkTaft. The former was a minister in the Kane and Kirner Labor governments in Victoria who held the portfolios of Attorney General and Transport in the mid-eighties. Melbournians will remember the Tramways Union strike in 1989 when trams had blockaded the metropolitan streets of Melbourne for more than a month preventing commuters coming into the city and threatening many small shops with bankruptcy. The strike lasted that long only as a result of Kennan being a weak minister as well as of the incompetence and languid state of his advisors. One example which I remember vividly, was his press secretary watching the Commonwealth Games with his feet on his desk whilst John Halfpenny ( the then Secretary of The Trades Union Council), who was leading the strike, was besieging with his goons the minister and threatening the livelihood of many small shop keepers. At the end of the strike, Jim Kennan was removed from the Ministry of Transport and was placed back to his Attorney General’s position. And Bernard Bongiorno was appointed to the Bench of the Supreme Court by the Brack's Labor government in 2000. ( Birds of a feather flock together.)

The other SC Mark Taft was a member of the Communist Party following the footsteps of his father Bernie Taft, who, as the Victorian Secretary of the Party dissolved it in 1991 in the wake of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. But he dissolved the Communist Party not for the purpose of expressing his political mea culpa for the millions of peoples who were slaughtered by the Leninists doctrinaires Stalin and Mao, but for the purpose of conceiving its bastard sibling the Socialist Forum hoping that its members would become an influential part of the left of The Labor Party. In the latter goal the older Taft succeeded completely, while the younger Taft as a member of the executive of the Socialist Forum and as one of its foremost ideologues, second only to his father, was ideologically grooming many members of the left of the Labor party, among whom were the present Minister of Finance, Lindsay Tanner, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, of the Rudd Labor Government. Now that both SC Jim Kennan and Mark Taft have abandoned the heavy burdens of the public sector, which for both of them were a total failure, and have chosen to be lured by the entrepreneurial temptations of the private sector and gratify themselves with its rich tastes, they decided to open their appetite for the latter with the “aperitif” of being the defenders of the “Dirty Dozen”, in Australia’s biggest terrorism trial. But enough of this minuscule biographical diversion of our two attorneys of defense, and let us now deal with the “unprecedented “ruling of the presiding judge of the trial.

Justice Bongiorno being a practical judge and not an ivory tower one, was not satisfied of being convinced merely by the “theoretical” pleadings of the two SC that the defendants were treated inhumanely by the authorities, especially when they were shackled hand and foot while they were transported from prison to the Court locked in the steel compartments of the prison vans, and wanted to test this allegation in a practical way. So when he visited Barwon prison where the twelve were being held he had himself locked up in “the small steel compartment…in one of the prison vans… to get a better understanding of their treatment”. Convinced now “beyond a reasonable doubt” by his own “travailed” experience during his own “transportation” to Barwon prison that the alleged would-be terrorists were treated by the authorities brutally and inhumanely he issued his ukase to the latter that unless they stopped this “intolerable” treatment of the prisoners his honor would “suspend the hearing indefinitely and consider releasing the men on bail”.

Victoria’s Department of Corrections under this hovering threat expeditiously responded positively to the Jupiterian ruling of Justice Bongiorno and implemented most of his directions. In doing so it negated the possibility that some of the twelve defendants would jump bail and break away from the “forceps” of Australian justice and disappearing in a Muslim country. But it did so paradoxically at the expense of the Judge. As it deprived his Honor of the honorific that Muslims, moderate and radical alike, at least in Australia, would have bestowed on the Justice as an indelible sign of their gratitude for this service, i.e., giving the opportunity to their co-believers to escape from the unjust Australian terrorist laws, by replacing their traditional greeting of Salam with Bongiorno, for ever after.

What was most interesting and amusing moreover, was the forensic evidence of the psychiatrists whose painstaking analysis had found the defendants to be psychologically and mentally disturbed—as if people who were prepared to kill hundreds if not thousands of innocent people for their messianic goals and in chase of the seventy-two virgins were not already incurable cases of mental disturbance–and “believed that their condition would deteriorate as the trial progressed”. Needless to say Justice Bongiorno was deeply influenced by this forensic evidence extracted from the “psychiatrist’s couch” and was a decisive element in his “extraordinary”, to quote him, ruling.

Thus we will be told as an entertaining and jovial story, that the twelve bearded fanatics who were “toying” with ideas how to blow up Australians, now that they are standing before the bar accused of planning this atrocity they have metastasized themselves into mere “naughty boys” playing among the skirts of the “libertine” legal profession and claiming from the loose garments of the latter their human rights.

Bongiorno Australia:Have a nice day

I rest on my oars: Your turn now.

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What is Needed for a Recycling Mechanism to Start?

A reply to Professor Varoufakis on his proposal of a recycling mechanism from countries with surpluses in his talk to the OECD.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The working of a recycling mechanism from countries that are in surplus would primarily need the physical stature of Professor Varoufakis, that is, lean efficient competitive economies with no wastage baggage and lean governmental apparatuses. Most economies, however, of southern Europe are in a state of pathological obesity in both regards and thus are being unfavourable turfs for surplus countries to plough their money into them. For the wheels of the recycling mechanism to start therefore, it would be necessary to fundamentally restructure the economies and governments in the former case, on the ethos of a competitive market economy, and on the latter, by removing the destructive policies of government intervention and excessive regulation in the sphere of private enterprise.  Only countries free from the deleterious effects of un-competitiveness and government dirigisme and replete with entrepreneurial dynamism acting within a private enterprise system can be favoured to be the recipients of the manna of the recycling mechanism.

The above argument is reinforced by the two historical examples in Professor Varoufakis’ presentation where he shows that the Americans at the end of the Second World War recycled the major part of their surplus to Germany and Japan, the two countries that were renowned for their economic efficiency and technological feats and operating within the private enterprise system, and the second, when China and the oil producing countries of the Arab peninsula recycled their surpluses to America on the basis of the same principle, that is, of economic prowess and competitiveness. In neither case were these surpluses recycled to “Africanized” economies. Likewise, why European countries, such as Germany, that are in surplus, should recycle the latter to the economically sclerotic countries of the south unless the latter engaged in a radical restructuring of their economies that initially would be followed with a lot of pain as Greece presently shows with the radical changes that are taking place in its economy under the robust and imaginative Samaras government? It is easy to talk about the misanthropy of the elites but what about the misanthropy of those politicians of the left, such as Andreas Papandreou, who for years created a false prosperity for their peoples without telling them of the heavy price and suffering they would have to pay for it and the great crisis that they would be engulfed in?

Can Professor Varoufakis envisage that the great foundational changes that are required, so the recycling river of funds will inundate those countries that are at the bottom pit, can occur without pain? Is the Heracletian profound maxim that out of “great discord rises the greatest harmony” to be negated by the votaries of the “dismal science”?

Guest (Xenos) says,

Incorrect, in every way and on every level.

Per capita, Greece received more than any other country from the Mashall Plan and other forms of financial assistance from the USA. Germany andJapan received the most because (a) they were the largest countries lined up to receive funds, and (b) because they had been decimated by the war. It had nothing to do with your homespun nonsense about “Africanised countries” — whatever you think those might be.

Your speech is nothing more than empty rhetoric and has no relation to historical reality or economic analysis.

Kotzabasis says,

Greece was a special case due to the civil war and the threat of a communist take-over and the fact that America replaced Britain as the plenipotentiary of Greece and its protector from communism. And it goes without saying that part of the reason why funds flowed to Germany and Japan was their devastation. But the major reason was that the Americans wanted to create a locomotive of economic development in these two regions and that is why they chose Germany and Japan renowned for their past economic prowess. Professor Varoufakis himself in his presentation makes it quite explicit that China invested its surplus in the United States precisely because of the latter’s high competitiveness (M.E).

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Australian Leader in Favour of Preemptive Attack against Irreconcilable Enemies

The following article was written on September 2010. It is republished here for the readers of this blog hoping they will find to be of some interest.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The 'unanimous rejection and repudiation of terrorism... and commitment to work within the laws of Australia', by the Muslim leaders who attended the Meeting on 23 of August 2010 in Canberra, must now be used by the Howard government as a "jump-start", to a "summit" of hard, but not foolhardy, action, that would effectively protect Australia from those fundamentalist Muslims and their followers in our midst, who pose an ominous and a grave threat to the security of our country.

Notwithstanding the support of the six principles, drafted at the Meeting, by the Muslim leaders, the government must not "manure" and water any illusions that these leaders will be able to do anything 'effective' against those fundamentalist imams and deflect them from continuing to push their radical-fanatic agenda among their followers, albeit this time, cautiously and stealthily, so they can avoid from being seized by the arm of the law. Fanaticism has the spots of the leopard on its back. And as one cannot change the spots of the latter, it would be the "summit" of folly to believe that the Muslim "summiteers", by exercising reason and persuasion, could change the nature of fanaticism embodied in these imams. This much was conceded by the Prime Minister himself, who in his riposte to the journalists as to why he had not invited radical Muslims to the Meeting, said that it would be impossible to change the views of fanatics by persuasion. And the evidence is overwhelming that no amount of reasonable arguments can persuade these fanatics to change their views, as despite the flood of concrete evidence to the contrary, they still believe that Osama bin Laden was not behind the attack on 9/11. Even some moderate Muslims believe that bin Laden was not the culprit. And, like the fanatics, they believe in all kinds of Americano-Jewish "twin" conspiracies, such as for example, that the Jews had foreknowledge of the attack, and that was the reason why they had not turned up for work on the day of the attack on the twin towers.

It is on this principle alone, 'once a fanatic always a fanatic', that the government must now enact the no "legal niceties" foolproof no loopholes legislation that would prevent, effectively, fundamentalist imams and teachers in Islamic schools, from teaching their doctrine of hate against America and Western nations, and from propagating - by craftier and more devious means, instead of doing this openly and with tongue in cheek as they have done in the past - a holy war against those nations and their peoples, who are fighting global terror in Afghanistan and in Iraq. (And it is precisely for this reason-the fighting of global terror- that countries engaged in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan have become targets of terrorists. And not as second rate and rationally shallow commentators, a la Kerry O'Brien and Tony Jones of the ABC, to mention only the most prominent ones in this country, who assert that these countries, and Australia in our case, have become terrorist targets because of their alliance with the U.S. and because of being co-occupiers with the latter in Iraq. These countries and America would not have been in Iraq, if the latter had not been an integral part of global terror, and especially now, when it has become the front-line of global terror. It is the ultimate contradiction on the one hand to agree, as most of these pundits do, that the countries of the free world have no other alternative but to fight global terror, which is a war sans borders and unlocalised, and then to refuse to fight it in the crucible of terror that Iraq has now morphed into.)

The government must realize, that only by legislating a "Sword of Damocles" over the heads of these dangerous fanatics that would deport them to the countries of their origin --if not jail them in this country for treason, if they happen to be Australian citizens--even by stripping them of their Australian citizenship, in the case that they are officially Australians. This can be done by retrospective legislation, in order to carry out their deportation, if they blatantly violated or violate the pledge they have made to their Australian citizenship. Thus, will it be able to protect Australia, to the highest degree possible, from home-grown terrorism.

In the enactment of this legislation protecting Australia, the Howard government must be consistent with the logical position of its foreign policy, as expounded by the Prime Minister himself. He made it crystal-clear, that if a country's terrorists in our region threatened the security of Australia by weapons of mass destruction, and the government of such a country was unwilling or impotent to prevent such an attack, then Australia would be forced to launch a pre-emptive raid to stop such an attack upon Australia. The Prime Minister cannot do less in regards to the internal enemy that also poses an imminent and lethal threat to the security of our country. The anti-terrorist legislation therefore, that the government is preparing to take, must also comprise the pre-emptive wherewithal, that would abort an attack on our country by home-grown terrorists. If the Prime Minister is willing and prepared to take the greater risk of invading and violating the borders of a sovereign nation to protect Australia, why then cannot he take the lesser risk, of uprooting and "destroying" the enemy within, which is the inalienable sovereign right of Australia, as it would be equally the right of any other nation in the same situation, to protect its people from an enemy attack?

Australia is at war! It has committed its brave soldiers, its sons and daughters, to fight a treacherous fanatical enemy in Afghanistan and in Iraq who is engaged in global terror, and whose goal is no less than the establishment of a block of Islamo-fascist states in the region, that would ultimately threaten the existence of Western civilization. It would be the acme of folly, of historic dimensions, that while Australia is engaged with its allies in such an existential war, that its government would allow a more than possibly operational fifth column of treacherous fanatics in the meantime, to stab Australia in the back. Such a folly, if it were to happen, would be registered in the annals of history as unforgivable and as inexcusable. It would irremediably demean all the sacrifices that our soldiers had made in fighting this war, and it would put an inerasable stain of moral feebleness and political incompetence, upon the up- to- now admirable leadership of the government on the war on global terror.

The Prime Minister, being fully aware of the real stakes of this war against global terror, who, with historical insight, moral fortitude, and political acumen, decided to commit Australian troops to fight it, must not now be squeamish about the necessary force of the legislative measures that must be commensurate to the great threat that is posed by home-grown terrorism. The political leadership of the free world is now at the crossroads of leading from the front or leading from behind. If, as some leaders of the West, such as Chirac, Schroeder, and Beazley - not to leave out our own crop - have decided to lead from behind, pushed by the stream of populism, these leaders will be everlastingly condemned by history, for their intellectual dishonesty, and political opportunism. Those leaders, such as Bush, Blair and Howard, who have decided to lead from the front, against the stream of populism, will be for ever and ever renowned by future ages for their indomitable spirit, that saved Western civilization from these terrorist barbarians.

ECRASEZ L'INFAME DE TERORRISME

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Obama's Limits of Imagination Transformed into Limits of Power

I'm republishing this short piece that illustrates the diplomatic scarcity in international relations that is the inexorable feature of the Obama administration.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Steve Clemons and Ben Katcher are using the ‘shamanistic’ art, the art of a conjurer, to turn the limits of imagination into “the limits of American power.” The “aborted attempt” of the Obama administration to “persuade the Israelis to enact a “settlement freeze”, has nothing to do with US power limits but with lack of imagination and political insight on the part of Obama and the State Department not to foresee the political implausibility of trying to impose such a doltish demand on the Netanyahu government. It’s a dismal failure of policy and not a limit of American power as Clemons and Levy in their conjurers’ role aver.

As for Daniel Levy’s ”asymmetries of power,” WigWag’s post is instructive and unassailable in its historical logic. All defeated nations in wars were due to asymmetries of power.

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Functional Government a Prerequisite for Handling Crisis in Greece

I'm republishing the following short piece that was written on June 20, 2012. As events have shown since then  it was the unity of the tripartite government of New Democracy, Pasok, and the Democratic Left, that was set-up post-election, in regard to the policies to be followed with its negotiations with the European Union that has kept Greece within the union and has given the country a new opportunity to overcome the crisis. There are favorable signs that Greece under the strong and resilient leadership of Antonis Samaras the miracle of an economically resurgent Greece is about to unfold. 

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The present position of Evangelos Venizelos the leader of Pasok that the government to be formed on June 18 must include Syriza in a coalition of other parties so that it can presumably deal more effectively with European leaders in regard to the necessary modifications of the Second Memorandum, is to repeat the stupendous error of the Democratic Left, under the pusillanimous leadership of Fotis Kouvelis, when it too had placed the same pre-condition after the May 6 election. The present profound crisis of Greece needs a functional government with united policies and realistic and decisive leadership that can pull the country out of the crisis and not a government of factions whose deep differences of how to handle the negotiations with the European Union would inevitably lead to intestine fights and to the collapse of such government that would seriously exacerbate the crisis. Thus the pleading for a wider coalition as Venizelos proposes will result with mathematical precision to a dysfunctional government irretrievably incapable of handling the crisis.

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Professor Varoufakis' "Invincible Summer" in the Midst of Difficulties of the Cold Winter of Past Year

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Professor Varoufakis, let us hope that the New Year is a year of corrections of past mistakes,  mea culpas and success. With the more than possible policy success of the Samaras Government in 2013, it seems to me that your “invincible summer,” policy wise, is a will-o-’the-wisp and will turn out to be your ineffable “winter of discontent” as a result of the political and economic triumph of Antonis Samaras in pulling Greece out of the crisis, and your dire predictions of the hopelessness of Greece, as the present government continues, according to you,  to implement, without creative revision, the dead end policies of the European Union and the IMF, which have been so destructive to Greece.

A reply to a criticizer who lambasted me for the above comment on Professor Varoufakis.

It’s not in my character to insult anyone and least of all our morally and mentally robust Professor Varoufakis. You are confusing “no quarter will be given” criticism with insults; the typical confusion of an effete person delving in critical matters or in intellectual discourse. As to the rest of your comment, it’s wise to take the advice of Wittgenstein and stay silent. The same applies to all other comments to my riposte to Professor Varoufakis.

 

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The Fallacy of Moral Equivalence between Christian and Muslim Fanatics

By Con George-Kotzabasis

“The evil doctrine, the armed forces at the disposal of those professing the doctrine, and the sympathisers (M.E.) with the doctrine in other lands constitute one united threat which must be met by force”. Edmund Burke, (Writing on the French revolution, and of the English citizens who supported it either in word or deed.)

In a battle between flaming (M.E.) fundamentalists and mute moderates, who do you think is going to win? Irshad Manji Muslim writer

The above two quotes apply to all the naive simpletons of this thread who search in vain for moderate Muslims in a religion that is irreversibly replete with hate against all infidels. And the comparison of moral equivalence they attempt to make between Christian and Islamist fanatics shows their prodigious ignorance of history and that they are fugitives from reality. Christianity never threatened another civilization with fanatical suicide-bombers. It's Islam that does so in an era of nuclear weapons and WMD. It's this lethality which distinguishes Muslim fanatics from Christian fanatics and the great dangers that the former carry and hide around their midriffs which are incomparable.

The hackneyed terms of 'Islamophobes'and 'Muslim haters’ that the Islam sympathisers use to discredit their opponents is a defence reaction on their part for their inveterate doltishness and inanity which bars them from the course of reason.

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